It’s always good to meet up with friends and clients from the Caribbean and also strangely enough, to see a lot of people from Florida who I only see in London at this time every year.
World Travel Market is also a time to get a feel for whats new in the travel industry, whether its the way technology is being used or to see how different destinations and hotels are marketing themselves.
I remember one particular trip about 5 or 6 years ago where I met up with the late Gary Sain (Then President) of the then Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau to take a few photo’s of him with different people and to get some shots of him doing a couple of radio interviews. It was when we were on our way to the opposite side of the huge Excel Exhibition hall that I noticed he was in awe of the huge and extravagant booths belonging to what he thought were less significant travel destinations and countries. He pulled me to one side and asked me if I would take some images of the different booths to take back to Orlando so he could show his board what he was up against. It was a moment that struck me because he turned up in London self assured that he was from one of the Worlds biggest travel destinations, only to find that there were many many, much more creative booths from surprisingly smaller destinations.
He got the images I took but I’m not sure where things went from there. Orlando does have a good booth every year, but it was sobering to see the genuine surprise on his face.
I suppose the message here is “never get complacent and to keep up with the times”.
Let’s hope we can.