Walking the boards at World Travel Mart
by Michael C Hughes
Early Monday morning and Wild Dog head out to Excel for the annual World Travel Mart (WTM) exhibition; an extraordinarily intense, rewarding, fun and downright exhausting few days meeting with friends old and new from the international travel scene. If you have ever attended, you’ll know why this event is so important and highly recommended.
A wonderful pit-stop on the Argentina stand with the lovely Ute Hohn-Bowen and Abby Hawkins from Antarpply (www.antarpply.com). I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Ute for many moons, and she is a legend in the polar travel community and at IAATO. And whilst I share the love for polar experts, I am so grateful also to Marlynda Elstgeest – owner of Waterproof Expeditions (who we created the brand and website for), but more recently the brand launch for their new Explore Collection group (www.explorer-collection.com). She is another polar expert legend; and we are fortunate indeed to know so many warm-hearted ladies amongst those cold polar destinations.
Also attended a very interesting presentation led by Dr. Mario Hardy from Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and his colleagues (www.pata.org). The discussion considered how the travel industry is being transformed by the needs and demands of youth, coupled with a myriad of other travel disruptors at play (with technology not surprisingly leading the way for disruption). A perfect storm of change forever beckoning. Running a digital design agency with a considerable amount of experience in the specialist travel sector, as we do there is nothing quite like listening to people predictions of the travel industry of tomorrow, to realise that it is an on-going learning curve….You never know it all; and long may that be the case!
Finally the exhibition draws to a close, and if nothing else one is not short of holiday ideas for some incredible travel experiences and destinations to visit…a perfect solution to recover from four days of walking the boards at WTM!