World Travel Market Brings Out, Well, The World

The Excel Center in London for World Travel Market. 50,000 attendees, 5000 booths.
The Excel Center in London for World Travel Market. 50,000 attendees, 5000 booths.

I learn so much when I come to London for World Travel Market. There is nothing like it, a convention where every country in the world is actively involved and exhibiting. Just about every US state, too, is represented, and preaching to the 51,000 strong throng and the 5000 exhibitors.  I struck up conversations with people and was told that Swaziland’s King has changed the name of his nation, it’s now called Eswatini.  That one I never heard about.

As I strolled the corridors with the tremendous displays, towering signs spinning around, lit up country names, and built-in bars, and cafes in each booth, I realized how important tourism is. It’s the world’s top industry, and these nations are battling with each other to get the traveler’s attention.

Here are some of the places I want to know more about after the show.

  • Basilicata, Italy. It’s located just above the heel of Italy’s boot. This region is nearly landlocked, and it looks fascinating, rarely visited by US tourists, and full of history and stark beauty.
  • Sierra Leone.  A real tourism boom is happening, there are beach resorts, plenty of new hotels, and travelers are discovering this country that was once in ruins.
  • The 7 Emirates. There are so many more than most people know about.  They are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Quwain.
  • Aisne France. This is a region near the river Somme, that’s commemorating World War One with a big tourism push, it’s located near the border with Belgium. I’d never heard of it, despite my love of France.

As usual, I can’t wait to get home and begin getting in touch and following up. But for the rest of the week, I’ll be exploring the island of Guernsey.