When you say travel fair, you think about a place where lots of people from the industry gather under one roof to talk about their business. But this was so much more than that. It was not just a place for establishing contacts, but also a place where we got to meet new people, build relationships, and discover more about their businesses.
We arrived in London on the 3rd of November (the first day of WTM); unfortunately we were in the city at around 6PM so we couldn’t visit ExCel that day. But we got to do some traveling around the city, taking lots of pictures of the London Eye and Big Ben. The weather was surprisingly great, with a temperature of around 16 degrees Celsius.
The next day, we got up early in the morning and prepared ourselves for what it was to become one of the greatest experiences of our lives. London’s public transportation system is designed in such a way that you couldn’t get lost even if you wanted to. We first took the train to the Underground; from there, the subway took us to Canning Town. From Canning Town, the organizers of WTM prepared a special train for us to take us to the ExCel Center (where the fair took place). What was really surprising was the fact that once we got off the train at WTM, a number of people were hired to guide us towards the entrance. This is something we have never seen before.
The venue is very large, housing travel companies from all over the world, divided into zones from the globe. Aside from that, if you want to get something to eat, or drink a coffee, you have plenty of restaurants to choose from.
When we first heard of WTM we thought we should just prepare for it with flyers and brochures, showcasing the wonders of Romania. But that’s just one step of the preparation process. The other step is to look for the companies you are interested to, in advance and book a meeting with their representatives. Once the meeting is scheduled, you know that on that day, at that specific time, you have to be at their stand. And that’s what we did. We followed our meeting schedules and got to sit down with some truly amazing people from countries like Palestine, Lebanon, Albania, Bulgaria, China, United States, Bohemia, Italy, Poland, India and Greece (just to name a few).
During these meetings, we talked about the potential of Romania’s Tourism, what we offer, what makes us stand out from the crowd. But that’s not all. We were also interested in their countries, in what they offer, the way the do business. So it was a win-win situation. I guess I don’t have to tell you how many contacts we made, exchanging experiences and business cards. It’s always better to talk to someone in person, rather than e-mails. You get to know more about that person, why they do what they do, why they chose WTM.
Throughout the course of the 2 days spent, we learned a whole lot more about the industry, the way it’s handled outside Romania, how people react to new challenges, how they want to discover new destinations. It’s not only about the product itself, but also about the person behind that product. Sometimes we tend to forget that this industry is made by the people, for the people. We try to find the best in what we offer, experience it ourselves, just so we are confident in the experiences we’re selling.
The whole experience was truly unique. We talked a lot, we met new people, and we took pictures everywhere, with everyone. World Travel Market 2015 was the place to be, if you were thinking of expanding your business by creating awareness. We cannot wait for you to discover Romania!