Last month a team of colleagues and I attended the World Travel Market (WTM) in London with the intention of interviewing a few of our key suppliers and possibly identifying new emerging destinations to add to our ever-growing portfolio of holiday experiences. The result was a kaleidoscopic video that not only encompassed some of the highlights of WTM 2014 but which also highlighted why The Holiday Place has for many years enjoyed a successful partnership with its suppliers and how it has built upon the great relationship it has established with many of its worldwide partners.
The World Travel Awards 2014 – the place that inspires you to see the world
A 35-year-old annual occurrence, the prestigious World Travel Market in London is the leading global event of its in kind for the travel industry. It's a vibrant feast for the senses with elaborate stands showcasing the attractions of practically every country in the world. From traditional dance performances to delicious gastronomy and live art creations, this gigantic fair comprises, quite literally, a world of delights.
Although we were busy shooting throughout the day and meeting several of our partners we did manage to stop and admire a few of the ornate stands and marvelled at the eye-catching designs, the people in regional costumes, the traditional music and dancing, the striking splashes of colour everyhwere, the dramatic lighting, the evocative posters, and the many riches that these destinations boast.
This is the place every holidaymaker should go to every year to get inspiration for their future travels, the only downside being that every place in the world looks so attractive and unique that your bucket list will be ever-growing and making a shortlist after attending this event could prove quite a daunting task. I speak for myself when I say that not only my desire to visit the places that I already had on my personal bucket list grew stronger, but I also got inspired by many others I had never before stopped to think about.
For the passionate traveller, the WTM makes you feel like a child in a sweet shop. You just gasp in awe and admiration whilst stuffing as many booklets, traditional treats, promotional pens and other travel paraphernalia as you can into the many oversized bags they offer you as you pass each stand. I collected as many trinkets as I could, sampled as many edible treats as they offered me as I passed, drank every beverage that came my way and listened to every presentation I could. Even when grabbing a lunchtime bite while waiting for one of our suppliers' impromptu decision to participate in our video, I got treated to a lovely presentation of a newly reopened hotel in Mauritius.
All this I did in a very short time of course, as my impressions of the fair were from quick passing-bys and short escapes in between video shootings. If I had been like any visitor on the day, with no business agenda to attend to, I'm sure I would have eaten so much more, collected so much more and generally experienced so much more. One of the highlights was getting a beautiful henna tattoo on my hand, as well as having a falcon stand on my forearm – amazing!
The Holiday Place at WTM 2014 – the valuable collaboration from partners
Mine and my colleagues' main goal when attending WTM 2014 on 5th November was to shoot a promotional video of The Holiday Place by interviewing a selection of some of our longest-established partners.
My companions on the day were our lovely photo boffin, Jana Crowne, responsible for taking some of the most impressive snapshots of the fair I have seen anywhere, and our Marketing Manager, Asa Sargeant, who made a huge effort to push the project along and who helped us with the meeting and greeting of suppliers, overlooking every aspect of the day and providing us with some vital guidance throughout. On my part I acted as the interviewer and our media partners, responsible for the shooting and editing of our video were Axonn Media, so a big thanks also goes to co-ordinator Nazia Chishty and video director, editor and producer, Jennifer Morris, as not only were they extremely professional and helpful throughout the day but they also got us a fabulous video in the end that we're now proud to show off.
But the biggest of thanks goes to the actual partners that spoke to us on the day and who kindly volunteered to participate in our video to highlight all that is great about working with us. Without them the video would just be a very sleek presentation of the WTM 2014 and its visual highlights – a lot of pretty sights, enticing to the traveller, but no real substance to back it up. This is why we insist that each of the speakers of the day's input was outstanding, as they took time out of their busy agendas to talk about their partnership with us.
Thus, we would like to personally thank Samantha Ford from Beachcomber Hotels, Kyp Charalambous from Atlantis, The Palm Dubai, Jean Michel Pitot from Attitude Hotels, Tracey Dyson and Enrique Martin del Campo from Hard Rock Hotels and Kate Kandiah from the Cayman Islands' Department of Tourism. They had all come prepared for our interviews and made each a very pleasant and enjoyable experience for everyone.
The actual shooting couldn't have gone smoother, all of our partners were at the agreed spot at the agreed time, they came all fully prepared and ready to swiftly answer our questions so that the time we had allocated for each of the interviews actually turned out much shorter than we had envisioned. This allowed us to interview many more suppliers than we had planned, as many offered to participate on the day and on the spot, with no previous warning or agreement. Simply splendid! This was the case of Charles Rey from Veranda Leisure and Hospitality, Jaime Cunningham from Cheapflights, Juan Quetglas from Blau Hotels and the Costa Rican Minister of Tourism, Wilhem von Breymann.