WTCE returns with brand new features for 2017

31 Oct 2016

First Time Exhibitor Village, Airline Forum and Focus on Travel Retail aim to attract more onboard industry professionals

The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE®) returns to Hamburg from 4 – 6 April with a raft of new features to celebrate its sixth year. As part of Passenger Experience Week 2017, the world-class exhibition will bring together professionals from across the globe with attendees hailing from countries including United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, France, China, Germany and the UK. WTCE offers a unique platform for onboard specialists from across the air, rail and the wider travel industry to meet over 300 industry suppliers, source the latest products, attend a wide range of networking events and view demonstrations from world-class chefs.

Cohesively hosting three events over four days, with the Passenger Experience Conference taking place the day before WTCE and Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the Week will welcome those at the forefront of the global passenger experience industry, who are responsible for shaping its future.

Global international air passenger traffic growth has remained strong so far in 2016 with year-to-date growth of 6.4%, according to the September Travel and Tourism Indicator Update report from World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Despite the impact of Brexit and the weakened pound, travel and tourism will grow continue to grow. Global Direct Travel and Tourism GDP growth in 2016 has been downgraded by 0.2pp compared with a downgrade of 0.5pp in total GDP growth. Therefore, the WTTC anticipates the travel and tourism sector to remain resilient and continue to grow faster than the wider global economy.

The onboard catering and passenger comfort industries therefore remain vital and WTCE aims to showcase all the latest developments, as well as offering an unrivalled educational platform for learning and networking. The hottest topics in the sector include meal personalisation and electronic ordering, healthy snacks, catering for customers with allergies, such as gluten intolerance, and innovative packaging. All will be covered – and more – at WTCE 2017, along with all-important advice regarding where operators can add value to increase profits and stand out from their competitors.

New for 2017
Now in its sixth year, WTCE will kick off with the Passenger Experience Conference, which will begin for the first time with the Airline Forum. This session is open to any airline representative and will take place before the conference from 8.30 to 9.30am on Monday 3 April, the day before the event officially opens. It will offer airlines a dedicated area to pick up advice and meet and network with their peers.

On the show floor, WTCE will once again provide an international hub where suppliers will display their full catering and onboard service ranges and, for the first time, new exhibitors will be housed within a First Time Exhibitor Village. This will encourage innovation, as well as introducing passenger experience professionals to companies that are new to the show and, in some cases, new to the market as a whole.

The Focus on World Travel Retail completes the trio of new experiences to be introduced at WTCE 2017. This dedicated showcase area for the onboard travel retail industry will have a networking bar with happy hours, seminar theatre and suite of private meeting rooms to better enable face-to-face conversations with potential new suppliers. Reflecting the huge growth in this sector, this focus area will allow buyers to meet with suppliers of sale-on-board items and source new companies and products.

Meanwhile, the Taste of Travel Theatre will return with cutting-edge presentations, live chef demonstrations and new product launches to innovate and inspire attendees. Admittance to these informative sessions is free of charge and they will provide new ideas and creative solutions that will help visitors enhance the onboard experience offered by their companies. Visitors will be invited to ask questions most relevant to their businesses in order to leave with greater insights into the trends affecting the onboard industry.

Also returning to the show will be the What’s New Onboard feature, which will highlight the newly-launched products and services in the sector with a spotlight on the best innovations of the past year. The Buy Onboard & Rail Trails will also be back, with visitors invited to follow the trails around the show floor, which will lead them to exhibitors supplying relevant products. Products showcased will range from food and beverages, amenity kits, linen and tableware to trolleys and packaging solutions.

Following on from the Airline Forum and kicking off Passenger Experience Week 2017, the highly regarded Passenger Experience Conference will run from 9.30am to 6pm on Monday 3rd April. Moving from the Congress Centre to the Hamburg Messe Hall A4 Upper this year, the conference features three breakout streams that focus on different elements of the passenger experience: The Connected Journey, Comfort and Wellbeing and Generating Revenue.

Attendees can learn about the increased use of smart devices enabling customers to customise their travels at every stage in The Connected Journey; the issues impacting a passengers’ sense of comfort and wellbeing through a journey in Comfort and Wellbeing; to how rail and air operators can better monetise their offer in Generating Revenue.

The conference will lead into an Industry Networking Party, which all attendees will be welcome to enjoy. With food and drinks of offer, the event is designed to facilitate new relationships between attending professionals ahead of the show opening the next day.

Once at the show, visitors will be able to meet with more than 300 exhibitors, all showcasing their latest innovations. These include major caterers, such as LSG Group and gategroup as well as other companies like:

- Albéa with the latest in beauty and personal care packaging innovations as well as passenger comfort products from amenity kits to pillows and blankets - Technology startup Yaos Ltd with LimeLight, an enterprise cloud application designed specifically for the airline industry

- Suominen´s Milk Ltd with its Jymy Organic Ice Cream that won Best New Organic Food Product & New Organic Brand 2015 in Scandinavia in 2015

Fabian Niederer, yaos Founder and CFO, said: “Last year the yaos team had an excellent experience at WTCE and look forward to a repeat in April 2017. Being one of the most important events on the industry’s calendar, WTCE offers yaos a key opportunity to connect and learn from the broader inflight catering community and showcase their latest iteration of the LimeFlight Web- and Mobile inflight catering solution.”

Syreeta Tranfield, WTCE Event Manager, said: “We are excited to bring WTCE back to Hamburg for its sixth edition as a firmly established and highly anticipated part of Passenger Experience Week. WTCE has become the global meeting place for the travel catering and onboard services industry and we have acted upon feedback to make the 2017 instalment the best yet. The show is truly international and provides visitors and exhibitors with an unrivalled path to meet with peers, discuss business deals and learn about the latest trends and innovations in the industry. We look forward to launching the Airline Forum, the Focus on World Travel Retail and the First Time Exhibitor Village, all of which we think will significantly add value to visitors and exhibitors alike. We also have a fantastic line up of top industry speakers providing the very latest thinking in this growing sector.”

WTCE 2017, which takes place at the Hamburg Messe from 4-6 April, will provide unmissable insights, innovations and networking opportunities for those in the onboard catering and passenger comfort industries. It is co-located with Aircraft Interiors Expo, which features more than 500 exhibitors and is free for those registered to attend WTCE.

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