Friday, November 13, 2009

Tripbod at WTM 2009

Thanks goodness it's Friday.... what a week it has been!

The 30th World Travel Market (WTM) took place in Excel, London and saw many thousands of travel folk from across the globe come together to talk travel, business and innovation.

One of the most rewarding experiences of this massive week was the amount of attention given to niche/local/responsible/positive (whatever you want to call it!) tourism. When I first started going to WTM and talked about connecting travellers to the grass roots and great local people, I was treated as an outsider, except by those wonderful people who have since become friends and a few of whom are now Tripbods.

But this year everyone was extolling the virtues of niche, grass root travel and I was inspired by the number of like-minded entrepreneurs who were in attendance, vying for their piece of an ever-fragmented marketplace.

The highlight of the whole week, however, had to be the Fringe event on Monday evening hosted in central London by Tripbod and friends. The Fringe is a global network of like-minded travel entrepreneurs and organisations, passionate about 'good' travel, the kind that benefits everyone and so-called because they are so often on the Fringe of big travel events. Well, not any longer - the Fringe WTM event was the place to be!

Sponsored generously by Intrepid, Rough Guides, The Blue Yonder and Travel To Care we saw 75 guests from 40 countries 'speed' networking away and enjoying a cosy evening in the basement bar of the Pavilion End pub, just next to St Paul's Cathedral. Lots of new friendships and business ideas were forged and it made for the perfect start to what turned out to be quite a crazy week.

Anyway, thank goodness it's Friday....

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