WTCE 2024 returns to shape the future of onboard and the passenger experience

WTCE 2024 returns to shape the future of onboard and the passenger experience

World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) returns to Hamburg for the twelfth edition of the show from 28-30 May 2024. Taking place at the Hamburg Messe across three days, it promises to unite buyers from the world’s leading air and rail operators, with exhibitors showcasing the very latest onboard product innovations and services.

Next year’s event is expected to be even more inspirational, with a host of new companies, visitor features and educational content aimed at the whole passenger experience community.

2024 looks set to be a milestone year for air travel, with over 9.4 billion passengers expected to take to the skies – compared with 9.2 billion in 2023. This is largely due to the reopening of the Chinese market and a surge in domestic travel, supply chain disruptions gradually subsiding, and inflation slowing down.

Consequently, the outlook for the global inflight catering services market is equally positive, with the sector predicted to hit $21.5 billion next year, highlighting passengers’ growing demand for better inflight experiences and improved food options.

Given this optimistic outlook and the huge potential for growth, there has never been a better time for transport operators to ensure their offering meets the needs of today’s modern passengers.

This year’s WTCE will boast a range of exciting new features on the show floor, while also building on the most popular ones from previous editions.

WTCE steps to sustainability four leaf clover logo

Driving a more sustainable future

To protect the planet and create a sustainable future, the travel industry is on a journey towards improving its sustainability practices across all areas of the passenger experience. Brand new for 2024, WTCE will be launching its ‘Steps to Sustainability’ feature, to celebrate the accomplishments and innovations of companies that are leading the way in environmentally conscious materials, production, manufacturing and operations.

The feature will include a curated range of exciting onboard products from organic foods and drinks to amenities and tableware items.

WTCE wellbeing walk-through purple logo

Enhancing passenger wellbeing

Following its popularity at the 2023 event, the ‘Wellbeing Walk-through’ is not to be missed by attendees. As mental and physical wellbeing become ever more important to consumers, air and rail operators are increasingly being challenged to enhance the onboard experience.

Catering to this, there will be a range of exhibitors showcasing products that support wellbeing; from healthy food and beverages to soft goods and amenity products.

wtce whats new onboard nio cocktails glass display

Innovation across the cabin

Following its success over the past years, the What’s New Onboard feature will be back in 2024, showcasing a variety of newly launched products to the onboard market. It’s a great opportunity for those seeking to discover the very latest products in the space to learn more about what’s on offer.

Best-in-class exhibitors

A large number of exhibitors have already signed up for the 2024 edition of the show resulting in over 80% of this year’s floor space already sold out. Noteworthy companies include Linstol, a global leader in sustainable in-flight passenger comforts, FORMIA, a global supplier of tailor-made, premium, in-flight amenities and dnata, one of the world’s largest air services providers and onboard catering companies.

LSG Group, a leader in airline catering, Buzz Products, supplier of luxury amenity kits, skincare, sleeper suits, meal serviceware and children’s kits and Cuisine Solutions, pioneer in the expert development and manufacturing of premium, fully cooked foods using the sous-vide method, will also be showcasing their latest products and services.

wtce taste of travel theatre with seated attendees

Unrivalled insights

The event’s popular Taste of Travel Theatre will provide a platform for the industry to discuss the onboard trends of tomorrow and beyond. A programme of seminars, cooking demos and tasting opportunities, produced in association with Onboard Hospitality, will allow visitors to gain insights and industry knowledge from a huge range of influential thought leaders and experts throughout the event.

Maximising your experience

For airline, rail and travel catering company buyers, WTCE’s exclusive VIP Buyer Programme provides upgraded attendees with a range of exciting benefits before and during the event. These include access to the VIP Buyer Lounge as well as a digital gift bag with exclusive deals, giveaways and promo items from SMiZe Cream, Manna from Heaven and more. In addition to this, those in the programme will be invited to collect a VIP sample bag containing 20+ products from Nutty Nuts, Bamboovement and Gut Springenheide among others.

This VIP Buyer Programme also offers a discounted rate for the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), taking place at the Hamburg Messe on 27 May 2024. Here, delegates will be able to gain valuable industry insights and unique networking opportunities in a programme that promises to be the catalyst for the future of the passenger experience industry.

WTCE Event Director, Polly Magraw, commented:

“We are very excited about WTCE 2024. The outlook for the travel industry next year – and beyond – is extremely positive and we look forward to playing a key role in this upwards trajectory. As we approach 2024, the future is looking very bright; passenger numbers are growing significantly again, and travellers are looking for the excitement in the experience rather than simply the functionality of travel.

WTCE is the perfect place for air and rail operators to uncover ways that they can reinvent the services they offer to their passengers to help them stand out from the competition.

“To align with these trends, there will be a strong focus at WTCE 2024 on creating memorable experiences, helping airlines meet their sustainability targets and wellbeing solutions to match the ever-evolving needs of travellers.

WTCE is the perfect event for buyers from the airline, rail and inflight catering sectors to unite and get ahead of the game. The show brings together industry professionals to connect, share insights, and discover the ‘next big thing’ when it comes to the onboard experience.”

Once again, the event will be co-located with the industry-renowned Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX). Both shows will be taking place at the Hamburg Messe and will come together to provide passenger experience professionals with the opportunity to network and explore new products, services and solutions.

For more information or to register your interest for the event:

World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) is the leading global event for travel catering, onboard retail and passenger comfort. WTCE is renowned globally for providing a platform for innovative suppliers to showcase the latest products and services in passenger comfort, catering and travel retail to help create the ultimate passenger experience.