Ever heard of “Nollywood”? Or wandered what you can do with BRICS? (no masonry, that’s for sure). And who of you already owns a Smart TV? To my absolute dismay, I read and hear in this year’s World Travel Market Global Trends Report that “smart TVs are on the verge of taking off” while all the while (for over a year now!), I must admit to having a so-called “Samsung Smart TV” sitting at home in my living room …
… Only I haven’t used it. It hasn’t really taken off for me yet, whereas I can fully support Paul Richer who is organising this year’s WTM technology programme in saying that “savvy travel businesses are harnessing social media to propel their promotion”. Check out what you can gain from this year’s World Travel Market in London:
Travel Trends and Distribution: “Where next?”
“The advent of mobile smartphones and unlimited data contracts has brought us to the Martini era. Consumers expect access to the information they want anytime, anyplace, anywhere. They have all the information they need at their fingertips. They will research their holidays ad-nauseum. So what’s the outcome? Consumers are now experts on their particular holidays. They spend more time researching their holidays than at any time in the past.”
This leads me to think of another quote by Keith Jenkins, author of VelvetEscape Travel Blog, who during a very interesting session about measuring the ROI on blog trips explained that “many people might not know they are looking at a blog while researching their favourite holiday destination (…) thinking blogs were only personal travel diaries written for friends and family.” Indeed, such is the look of many professional travel bloggers‘ websites that you might well “confuse” them with online travel magazines or destination websites: Well-researched travel directories that add depth, meaning & personal accounts to any means of travel or travel destination in the world, at the fingertips of the consumers, always dynamic and – perhaps the most important – delivering social content that is “shareable” & “likeable”.
“Social media spreads the word. Constant peer to peer interaction on Facebook, Twitter and other social communication mediums means that if a (travel) business is doing a good job, consumers will hear about it. (…) I guess we will see more peer to peer businesses launch in the coming years”, concludes Paul Richer of Genesys Consulting in his travel distribution report.
In the spotlight: Travel Bloggers from around the world gather during World Travel Market 2012 in London
For me personally, visiting this year’s World Travel Market in addition to attending The Travelers’ Handbooks book launch has also been a roller coaster ride of (positive) emotions. Having lived in the city of London for almost a year during 2002/2003, I hold many dear memories of the British capital. With the main boxes ticked on several visits reaching back into childhood, I allowed myself time to relax literally “swirling around town” like a colourful autumn leaf! In this way, I got to benefit from time for shopping (of course!) but also many good old travel tales from local storytellers (friends & couchsurfing/AirBnB hosts) in great cafés and less-travelled districts of the city.
From the cheering of crowds at Tottenham Hot Spurs vs. Wigan Athletic football game, to the warmth and care of like-minded travel bloggers Sarah & Terry Lee, to the buzz and the excitement of being in a room with some of the most talented travel writers, travel bloggers and journalists (twice during London #TravelMassive & #Tweetup events): All this has simply been very, very inspirational.