Set to reach new heights for its fifth anniversary, The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE®) returns to Hamburg on 5 – 7th April as part of the Passenger Experience Week 2016. The world-class exhibition will offer a unique platform for professionals from across the rail and air 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.

According to the latest World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecast, travel and tourism will grow by 3.7% worldwide this year exceeding a global economic growth forecast of 2.9%. The WTTC predicts the sector's total contribution to the world economy will reach $7,860 billion or 10% of global GDP and travel will account for 9.5% of all jobs in the world.

Emerging nations such as China, Brazil, Russia and India will be at the forefront of this growth. These markets represent a great opportunity for airline and rail professionals to attract and cultivate loyalty among new customers and showcase the latest innovations in travel catering and onboard services.

Reflecting this boom, the onboard services industry is constantly evolving to keep pace with changing consumer preferences. Meal personalisation and regionally inspired recipes, free-from foods, healthy snacks, innovative packaging and a varied retail offering are just some areas where operators can add value to boost profits and gain a competitive edge.

Now celebrating its fifth year, WTCE has established itself as an international hub where the rail and airline elite can come together to discuss the travel catering and onboard services industry's most significant innovations. Suppliers will display the full range of catering and onboard services and with a wide range of new exhibitors already confirmed, visitors will be able to further expand their networks and discover fresh ideas for their onboard offering. The 2016 show will bring together professionals from countries as diverse as United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, France, China, Germany and the UK.

Building on its successful launch at last year's show, the Travel Retail Zone returns for the special fifth anniversary 2016 show. Reflecting the huge growth this sector has experienced in recent years, the Travel Retail Zone allows buyers to meet with suppliers of sale-on-board items and discuss how they can boost their offering to appeal to the modern traveller. A company trail will also lead attendees to those exhibitors around the show floor with a travel retail offering, making it easy for them to plan their visit and come away with plenty of inspiration.

Visitors can also take advantage of the Taste of Travel theatre which returns to the show to promote the latest innovations in onboard services and travel catering. Some of the industry's most sought after names will provide interactive demonstrations, thought provoking presentations, tasting and sampling opportunities.

Archana Sharma, WTCE Event Manager, commented: “As an integral part of Passenger Experience Week, WTCE has become the global meeting place for the travel catering and onboard services industry. The show is truly international and provides visitors and exhibitors with a great way to meet with colleagues, discuss business deals and stay up to date with the latest trends and innovations in the industry. The fifth anniversary show is set to be the best yet, with a more diverse exhibitor base and top industry speakers.”

Kicking off Passenger Experience Week 2016, the highly regarded Passenger Experience Conference runs on Monday 4th April, the day before the exhibition opens, and will feature a dedicated session to onboard hospitality. After an information-packed day at the conference, delegates can join exhibitors and visitors at the Industry Networking Party where an evening of entertainment and cocktails will allow them to network in a relaxed environment.   

As part of Passenger Experience Week 2016, WTCE is co-located with Aircraft Interiors Expo, the world's largest event dedicated to sourcing the latest innovations, technologies and products for the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort industries.