A SPECIAL BEHIND THE SCENES REPORT AT WORLD TRAVEL MARKET…
Every year around early November there is a unique chance in East London to time travel!
Not that some weird time warp opens up there, but you can literally be in Bulgaria one moment and in a few minutes you can be in Bangalore or Bangkok.
This weird, but true effect is all due to the world of travel coming to London to show off their wares and that is done at the Excel Exhibition Centre and off course it is called, World Travel Market.
For that’s what it is, people who work in the world of travel make a beeline to be in the city to learn about, sell or show off what their country is doing at the current time.
In all, nearly most countries of the world turn up to promote to the rest of the world what their particular country has to offer in terms of tourism or tourism business ideas. It is a business-to-business opportunity as well as a showcase for hotels, resorts and destinations.
WORLD TRAVEL MARKET EXHIBITION LONDON
The whole of the world is mapped out in geographical sections so you have a European section an Asian section and Middle East section etc. The style and design of each countries stands are infinitely varied, as are the colours that are used. Bright and sometimes downright gaudy but somehow it all blends with a relative amount of harmony. But seeing and experiencing event it is definitely worth it, if only once, but you do have to be involved in the travel trade or a student on a recognized tourism course.
Members of the travel media, writers, broadcasters both radio and TV photographers plus internet and bloggers are all part of the circus that makes it way to Custom House station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) the location of Excel. Also there you will find representatives from hotel chains, officials from tourist offices, airline representatives inbound travel companies, outbound travel companies and a myriad of national costumes are the people that make up the teams of staff that man the stands for some 3 days.
Add into the mix a few celebrities, royalty and senior politicians and you have some idea of the sort of people you could run into as you time travel around the world, I bumped into Miss Seychelles as she was publicizing her Indian Ocean island home, and Charlie Boorman descending from the roof of the building on a rope.
A TRAVEL PROFESSIONALS CHOICE
The media have endless press conferences that they can attend either on the stands or in the large media centre one floor above.
Countries announce tourism policies, developments or tell of success in their last year’s tourism numbers. It is at WTM too that countries that sometimes may not generally get on, for some reason here they do! The world of tourism has the ability to bring a little peace to a regional that perhaps is not that well natured under normal day-to-day circumstances?
Walking around you are assailed by smells, colours, music and all sorts sounds. Mexican mariachi bands, Dutch clogs being carved, African drumming. Visual stimulation, hearing and feeling your senses get a good work out the whole day. Tiring it certainly is, a great deal of talking is done, meetings and more meetings making the most of this brief coming together, very much you have to do it while you can, so you talk and you talk and talk a little more, until usually by the end of a couple of days your voice goes and then you just have to give up and go home.
As a spectacle it is certainly pretty amazing, a great highlight in any travel persons life and a chance just once a year to have that almost ‘Superman’ ability to make time stand still as you flit from Africa to South America and over to Asia just because you can!