Hi everyone, hope you’re all well and starting to brace the cold with Christmas just round the corner. How time flies!
In this post, I will be talking about a topic slightly different than usual. Recently, I was lucky enough to be able to go to The World Travel Market in London on behalf of my University for 3 days. This event took place in ExCeL, London from 7th November until the 9th November 2016. Now anyone who is in the travel industry would know the significance of this convention. It is an event that occurs only once a year in London. However, Reed Travel Exhibition who organises this event also organises it in other countries globally such as:
- World Travel Market Latin America
- World Travel Market Africa
- Arabian Travel Market
- International French Travel Market
- World Travel Market Connect Asia
- International Golf Travel Market.
I’ve heard and read about The World Travel Market before however, this was my first time attending. I was asked by my Head of Department if I could attend with some other students and of course, I said Yes! I went there as an exhibitor for Bournemouth University. My role was to promote our courses available in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality to prospective students, researchers or business partners. It was a thrilling experience. Being able to represent the University itself is such an honour for myself, let alone meeting important figures and veterans in the industry was such a nerve-wracking experience..but it’s was all worth it in the end!
The World Travel Market is where all countries around the world all come under one roof. It was surreal..literally. I felt like I went on a world-tour holiday within 3 days! All stands stood out with their special attributes and some countries went beyond and above to surprise attendees (you’ll see what I mean from the pictures!). Each country presented their culture in such a special way that one couldn’t help but be awed. I was lucky enough to try a Vietnamese rice tea, had henna done on my hand, a Korean acupuncture experience, held a falcon from Dubai, tasted Italian and Greek wine, experience different types of dance in the Indian culture, tried Columbian coffee and so much more! To top it all off, stalls gave freebies throughout the 3 day events which was thoroughly enjoyable!
It’s where businesses and new relationships are created, where people can meet face to face and sign contracts. As we’re on this subject, I recently saw an article that this year was a new record of 51,500 people attending and 50,000 people doing £2.5billion worth of deals and contract signed! These figures itself shows the impact and importance The World Travel Market has on the Travel Industry worldwide.
Usually, when I tell certain people that my degree is Tourism Management, I get looks of confusion, curiosity, surprised looks and sometimes dumbfounded. I get asked whether “Is it really worth it?” or “What I’m planning to do afterwards?”. During those times, I felt rather uncomfortable being judged but I knew what I was doing when I chose this path and the endless of possibilities that would be laid out in front of me. Attending this event only comforted me and reassured me that I’m on the right path. I felt a sense of security and almost at home. I was surrounded by people who had the same passion as me and that was Travel! Hearing all the inspiring talks and vision for the future shows how this industry is growing bigger and better. I wish that I get the opportunity to go every year!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post!
Till next time,