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WTM London Opens Up a World of Travel

The Kigo team recently attended WTM London as an exhibitor and presenter in an event that brings together the entire travel industry.

Initially launched in 1980 in London, World Travel Market is one of the travel industry’s largest annual events, appealing to travel-focused companies around the globe for networking, transacting and learning with in the travel arena. Today it boasts six regular b2b events on four different contents and claims to have been responsible for over $7 billion in business deals—no small feat.

London was the location of the original WTM event and continues to be its most popular. This year, the global appeal was no different. The event attracted over 4,500 travel-related organizations, from airlines and technology companies to tourism boards to destination management companies, as well as students, journalists and influencer. An estimated 70,000 people attended WTM London, representing over 185 countries, and over 2.8 billion pounds ($3.5 billion) in business was conducted this year.  So, naturally, Kigo was there, representing the short term vacation rental industry.

Top conference takeaways

Kigo representatives Craig McDonald and Kathryn Ryan attended and shared about their experience. “It was a great experience for the Kigo brand,” says Kathryn. “We were one of two technology companies dedicated to supporting the short-term VR (vacation rental) industry.”

The two shared that WTM London is regularly attended by tour operators, tour boards and companies that support the travel industry around the world. The majority of this year’s representation was from Europe, but Asia held a strong showing as well, as there is a growing market for travel there.

“There was quite a lot of interest,” adds Craig. “Although WTM London is generally attended by hotel-based vendors, there’s a growing level of interest in VR. The majority support the hotels, but you can see the landscape is changing.” In addition, McDonald notes that, when hotel vendors discovered they were from Kigo, they showed increased interest in both Kigo and the short-term rental industry. They also saw new interest from entrepreneurs and companies interested in investing in the VR arena.

Insights from Kigo and HomeAway

Not only did Kigo participate in business inquiries but they also co-sponsored a presentation with a premiere business partner, HomeAway. In the session, Kigo presented a full spread of its capabilities, including its core application, Vacation Rental Websites, Operations Manager, Guest App, Revenue Management and Payments, as well as Platinum Support.

Among the other presenters at WTM London were Alex Bainbridge, CEO British Airways and Hilton Senior Manager for Corporate Responsibility & Human Rights Caroline Meledo.

Overall, the conference generated a lot of interest in both the short term and vacation rental industry and Kigo’s end-to end technology solution, regardless of what stage they were in the buying process. They also met with several existing clients in face-to-face meetings, appointments and demos, as well as talking with attendees who stopped by the booth to have a short conversation. Kigo’s new Payments solution drew some of the most attention, with its secure payments gateway and ability to bring all guest information into its core application.

Craig, Kathryn and the rest of the team say the event was a rousing success and they look forward to meeting with attendees next year.

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