Doris Visits the World Travel Market at ExCel.
You might ask what is The World Travel Market? There are many answers. A wealth of colour is certainly one answer, just take a look at the video we did.
Videos are important at Doris Visits as we like to show you a place, then as you research you can visualise. See the cruise before you cruise the sea, or look before you book. I guess that is a little of what a trade fair is. So what are all these countries doing at this three day event here at London's Excel?
It is where any country (destination) can show itself and it's opportunities to a wide range of over 50,000 travel operatives and industry professionals. We are not just talking travel operators but government ministers, the tour and facility operators, the press and bloggers like Doris Visits. Here they can sit and negotiate and further what are hoped to be long lasting business relationships.
Our first meeting was a the Fiji stand. In 2012 we went to Fiji to make the film Bula Quo under the well documented government incentive of 47% tax back. As, in 2016, we are still waiting for this promised incentive we went to ask why it is still sitting on the Minister's desk in Suva. The deals struck and chased here and at other events can be complex and detailed but they all have the same goals. They want tourist traffic to the destination as it brings revenue. The film Bula Quo which starred Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt showed Fiji off in a fantastic light, and premiered the movie released by Universal all over the world not least in Leicester Square, London, in corperation with the UK arm of Fiji Tourism. So, four years on we are keen to see the Fijian government make good their side of the deal. Most countries, including the UK offer filming and other deals to encourage trade. The UK deal is well worked and understood which is why our studios are full to capacity.
We wandered through the Canary Islands section because we have just completed an extensive set of video blogs on La Palma, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife. Portugal had a huge presence and of course we had been to both Madeira and Lisbon on the Iberia Cruise. We looked at places we have been but our interest turned more to the places that we know we are going to this year to film.
Our first stop was Hawaii, which is where we join the Arcadia for a leg of the P&O Arcadia's wonderful Polynesian & Asian Adventure. We fly to Hawaii at the end of January and will be staying a few days before boarding the ship to Bora Bora then Papeete in Tahiti. As film makers, one of the areas we would like to get to from the ship is the Kuala Private Nature Reserve, so we had the opportunity to meet with the director of Sales and Marketing to discuss that. Kuala is where much of Jurassic Park was filmed, and the TV show Lost.
We sail into Bora Bora on the 6th February but we sailed into the Tahiti WTM stand on the 10th November. Doris Visits tries to orientate Cruise passengers then find them something different, so we are looking for tour topics for the films while there. On the 7th February we sail into Papeete where we leave the ship and will have time to stay on the island, so we had a lot to talk about with the sales and marketing account manager for Tahiti.
Dubai, Jordan and the Middle East
These areas have such a significant place in the culture and history of every country who follow many of the mainstream religions from Christianity to Muslim. But Dubai is different, the place where there is a bar or club on every corner and 80% of the population there are non native. Like the founding fathers of America the youth have invaded the UAE because of the sun, life style, opportunities and lack of crime. A society steeped in culture and ethos, we have ten films on Dubai and blogs on Petra and Jerash in Jordan.
A cruise down the Fjords is something on many people's bucket list. The Norwegian stand means business, the Norwegians drive business very well and their stand is no exception. Their Innovation Norway programme is the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry aimed at developing any company's competitive advantage in order to enhance innovation in Norway.
So it can be seen that the World Travel Market has many complex functions happening under the ExCel Roof. From offering government help to enhance trade as with Norway above, to trying to get the governments to then fulfil their promises as with Fiji above, to, mending relationships where trouble has hit. Headlines in TTG@wtm the official event daily magazine, on day two seemed to list countries mending tourism issues. They suggested that Turkey's Ministry of Culture were confident that they could restart visitors numbers having lost 30% of tourism traffic after recent problems. The facing page feature an article where Egypt's Tourism Minister had insisted that new security measures installed at Sharm el Sheikh Airport have made it safe to resume flights, The UK's Foreign Office (FCO) at this publication date are still advising holiday makers against using the airport. This in turn could affect any travel insurance you might hold. Thailand was also claiming that the country is now back to normal after the 30 day long mourning period of the much loved King Bhumibol ends on the 14th November and the reported year long period only affects government.
So, whilst the World Travel Market may come and go without you needing to be there, we just though you might like to know one of the many things that goes on behind the scenes in our day to day operations.
follow us at www.DorisVisits.com and see the film there.