300FeetOut attended the World Travel Market in London, England, November 4-7, 2013.
While not a “luxury-only” trade show, the multitude of countries that were represented and the array of booths was impressive. A plethora of craftsmen, including those involved in the hammering of metals, were in attendance and attendees were also treated to what appeared to be entire bazaar tables along with specialties from each region — Qatar brought hunting falcons; France had showgirls and Moulin Rouge representatives; Belgium had a full beer bar and chocolate artists; Columbia served up fresh coffee; Switzerland had chocolate (thankfully no yodeling); Cuba was hand-rolling cigars; and India was fronted by a gigantic Buddha! We’re sure we didn’t even get to see half of the scheduled representative displays because the halls were simply too big to see everything at once.
The scheduled speakers/presenters, along with the technology booths for services, covered a range of topics from revenue management to reviews. It is nice to see that hospitality and travel industry is accustomed to the tools available to them from booking engines to customer insights and managing feedback. The nsight booth had a line around the corner for attendees to get their caricatures made — very clever PR for a new company.
It wasn’t all business! The team also enjoyed a bit of sightseeing on the London Eye, a photo exhibition at Hayward Gallery, and it was all rounded out with some amazing food. While trying Iraqi fare at Masgouf Cuisine, we discovered why you must make sure you order the Masgouf – a delicious fish grilled with only salt to enhance its fantastic flavor. Indian food at Moti Mahal and South African treats at Bunny Chow in Box Park helped to make the week in London a definite success.