Every year I look forward to my walk around the world at Excel in London Docklands along with interesting and colourful characters like the Falklands penguin and many in their own national costumes and an Asian gentleman on the Scotland in a kilt caught my eye as well
Monday is a trade only day and by invitation only. I was invited by Prom Peru to see their new and very powerful advertising campaign and the opening of their bright new stand. I do hope this will encourage more visitors to this beautiful country but I can’t help thinking that a direct flight would definitely help
Monday is also my day for getting all the information I need for clients who have already booked and for those who have enquired about particular destinations. As you can imagine, my bag was very heavy by the end of the day, jam packed with maps and guides from every corner of the world
Another invitation on Monday evening to SATOA presentation about the E3 route. Did you know it it possible to drive from the north of Kwazu Natal in South Africa, through Swaziland to Mozambique in a single day? Well that was something I learnt too
I didn’t go on Tuesday as 4 consecutive days is too exhausting. Back on Wednesday and an early start at Caribbean stand. Twelve exhibitors from hotels and tourist boards presented, some of them I know and love such as Grenada and St Lucia and others such as Guadeloupe and St Vincent sounded really interesting and appealing. This was followed by a treasure hunt to go into a draw at the end of the day for some lovely prizes
Caribbean Tourism treated us to lunch and wine at Caribbean Scene nearby which has been voted Best Caribbean food in the UK.
Afterwards we had a training session at Custom House hotel with South Pacific tourism. It was refreshing to see Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu making a presentation as well as our old friends from Fiji, Samoa and Tahiti. The islands are all so remote and that is what makes them unique each with their own different cultures and languages. We had to leave early to get back for Caribbean prize draw and Trinidad & Tobago Party which continued back Caribbean Scene
After the mad rush on Wednesday running from here to there and not being able to fit everything in, Thursday was a real disappointment with absolutely nothing going on. We tried to fill in any gaps we had but as many of the stands decided to pack up and go home by 2.30. This appears to be the reason why many agents did not bother to attend on Thursday and unless the events are spread out sensibly over the 2 days next year less and less agents will attend. I fear this will lead to even less interest by exhibitors and eventually a 3 day show.
Thursday’s highlight was the cable car ride Emirates Air Line from O2 to Royal Victoria Docks which is fantastic value at £3.20 for a 10 minute ride over O2, Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, Excel and City Airport. A must do for tourists to London