Paul De Waal, Director of travel technology company, Wetu, shared some thoughts on Monday’s issue of Tourism Update following his trip to London for World Travel Market.
I attended WTM for the 1st time since 2010 and I was impressed with the show. The SA Tourism stand was great and with free coffee, drinks and snacks throughout the day – the hospitality made it a great meeting area and ensured that it was always busy. It was great to see SAT, Kenya and other stands providing evening drinks and eats at their stand at the end of the day – provides a great networking opportunities.
The show highlighted some basic areas where Indaba is falling short:
Where Indaba is making it very expensive and difficult to entertain at stands, WTM is obviously not doing the same. Almost all stands were offering their local eats and drinks – it made the show more interesting and, more importantly, drew people to the stand and created opportunities to learn, talk and network. Indaba used to be good at allowing exhibitors to network. Unfortunately the ICC (Durban International Convention Centre) and its profiteering has destroyed one of the best things about Indaba.
The quality and cost of the food has been a big issue at Indaba over the last few years. At WTM there were many different food offerings (restaurants) – prices were more expensive than the main street, but the quality was good.
Technology is playing a major role in travel these days and they had an awesome Tech Area that is well integrated into the rest of the show. The talks were interesting and took place within the exhibition area. This ensured that they were very well attended.
About the trade
WTM is a trade show and the organisers understand this. Often I wonder if Indaba actually understands what the trade is about. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by WTM as it surpassed my expectations. Great to see the African area busy despite all our challenges.
Source: Paul De Waal, Director of Wetu