World Travel Market

It’s Thursday 12th November and this week was the week of the World Travel Market in London.  I went on Tuesday and Wednesday and it was definitely worth the effort!

The best thing that happened was meeting up with fellow travel tweeters on the Tuesday ~ so good to sit and chat for as long as we wanted rather than in just 140 characters!  I met with Andy Jarosz @501places, Keith Jenkins @velvetescape, Janice Waugh @solotraveler, Andy Hayes @andrewghayes, Karen Bryan @karenbryan, Tony Champion @HookedOnAsia and, later, Bruce Poon Tip @brucepoontip.  Every single one of them was a genuinely nice person, bubbling with personality, ideas, sound knowledge and fun!

Tuesday afternoon went to The World Tourism Awards and applauded the three winners, who were honoured for their contribution and dedication to sustainable tourism and preservation of cultural heritage. The winners were Tourism Cares, Gap Adventures and Cyrene, Libya.  Bruce Poon Tip is the CEO of Gap Adventures so he received my loudest applause!  Gap Adventures (launched 1990) created the Planeterra Foundation (a not for profit organisation which supports small communities around the world) to ‘give back’.

Wednesday was World Responsible Tourism Day, with a packed programme of seminars and events.  The official opening in the morning had Andrew Mitchell as the guest speaker.  A very eloquent and dedicated world authority on rainforests and founder & director of Global Canopies.

The Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards followed and full details can be found on www.wtmlondon.com .

This year was the 30th World Travel Market and, to celebrate, there was a party at the end of the day with singers and dancers from the top West End Musicals to entertain us.  Chicago, Mama Mia and The Jersey Boys were amongst the featured shows.

I caught up with a lot of friends and achieved all my objectives, bar one, and that has subsequently been done ~ woo hoo!

I really do enjoy the World Travel Market, it’s a privilege to meet so many different people from so many different countries and cultures.  Most were so friendly and helpful but, amazingly, some were so caught up with chattering amongst themselves, that they paid no heed to any visitors going to their stands.  Such  wasted opportunities after all the effort and travel to get there.  And, as this for some visitors is the first experience of that country and brand, the impression is not good at all!  Huge mistake.

(originally posted 12.11.09)

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