Yes, I am still alive, and back from WTM (World Travel Market.) Never one of my favourite events, I’m puzzled why some exhibitors continue to attend, while others who should, and might benefit, are inexplicably absent.
EXCEL’s static-inducing carpet is as ever rolled out for a mosaic of stands, some rammed by gawpers transfixed upon contrived cultural spectacles, and others almost empty, save for whispering tables of moustached men whose body language bristles uninterest.
Elsewhere, PRs host events costing thousands in free booze, billed to foreign clients whose message is, well… lost in translation. Unaccountable entitlement to spend someone else’s money is unmatched. A tuneless sing-song of going through the motions is deafening. Those just being there, for no other reason than to walk on the water of ‘presenteeism’ are legion.
In part a sexed-up, expenses paid shopping trip for shiny suits and high heels, WTM is an unknowingly missed opportunity for those who will never be invited, those whose livelihoods depend most keenly upon trickle down tourism revenue.
There are of course exceptions to the corporate nonsense, inertia, lack of engagement and PR fluff. Some people work hard, work smart and benefit their cause greatly. I salute them all, and at least these days WTM is smoke-free.