Last week I was invited to attend the WTM expo at the ExCel convention centre at the Royal Victoria Docks in London. It is the leading global travel trade show and each year brings almost 50,000 people together with the aim of getting the entire world on holiday, As such, I thought it was a good opportunity to take Ye Olde England Tours to a new audience, full of decision makers, bookers and industry experts.
I don’t quiote have the budget to create some of the frankly staggeringly impressive stands that were on display from around the world. Instead, I ordered some flyers and spent 8 hours walking around, making contacts and meeting trade officials from those countries where I get the most visitors from.
I also spent a few hours meeting with organisations in the UK with a view to creating some exciting new tours and I’m pleased to say that I think I have the odd exclusive scoop coming up for 2018.
Despite all my hours walking around, I only saw around half of the exhibition which is no doubt why it is a 3 day show. Nevertheless on a personal note, it was good to see that the UK section was absolutely packed out and the only country where you had to fight through the crowds whilst with the exception of the USA and Italy, most areas were very much quieter. Which does indeed match my experience that whatever sections of the media say about Brexit, travel and tourism in Britain is absolutely booming.
Many of the stands were operating with the support of their respective nations government tourism associations and as such were able to put on some amazing stands and shows. Each one was a little version of their country from the exclusive and high end stands from the Gulf nations to the tiny stands from Mongolia and Tajikistan and a very bare outing from Iraq.
I took lots of photos and put them in the video below along with a 1 minute video of a much longer dance put on by the Rwandan delegation. It certainly did the trick and got lots of attention diverted away from richer and more established tourist nations.