WTM: First Time For Everything, By Fenella Tobey, Account Executive
Earlier this month the who’s who of the travel industry descended on the Excel Centre for World Travel Market 2018.
For a first timer, I just hadn’t anticipated the sheer scale of the event. We had plenty of clients attending this year but I was personally there to support the Barbados Tourism marketing Inc, once I navigated my way through the hundreds of stands to theirs…There I was in Europe trying to strain my eyes in the vain hope of spotting the Caribbean. 15 minutes later after a brief tour round Asia and an accidental visit to Russia I found Barbados.
This was to be our home for the next three days. On the stand we had the Barbados delegation which included the new minister of Tourism & International Transport the Hon. Kerrie Symmonds. Though he was kept busy with meetings most of the time, the Minister managed to squeeze in a few moments to blend himself a smoothie on the snazzy bike blender we had for delegates to try out.
The whole team was also excited to have the cricket legends Sir Garfield Sobers and Desmond Haynes on the stand, charming the socks off everybody that passed by and carrying out interviews with the media and taking part in a live radio broadcast.
We were also joined by many of the trade partners that have supported Barbados tourism throughout the year, as well the fabulous Bajan chef Michael Harrison who cooked up a storm with his demonstrations.
The event was a great success and the BTMI team are feeling confident and excited for 2019.
As for me, I can’t wait for next year. WTM is a hugely creative event and wonderful melting pot of all cultures, countries, and travel connoisseurs.
My top tip is to wear flat shoes and bring as many business cards as you can carry!