Posted by: travelrat | November 29, 2010

World Travel Market

I liked this presentation, too! Thank you, Belgium!

London, 9th November 2010

It seems to me that the World Travel Market is slowly changing. It used to be that you met representatives of the various Tourist Boards, eager to tell you about what they had to offer. But, more and more, it seems to be about luxurious hotels, offering ‘pampering’ and (horrible, artificially created word) ‘wellness’. And, slick PR ‘suits’, promoting their ‘product’, who don’t seem to give a monkey’s about us humble scribblers, looking for something interesting to write about.

So, it was a refreshing change to meet the Portuguese, who invited me to come to their presentation. Normally, I don’t do presentations, having better things to do than endure an hour’s ‘Death by Powerpoint’, while someone drones a meaningless set of figures at me. But, the lady insisted … it wouldn’t be like that at all; it would only take about twenty minutes; she promised there wouldn’t be any flipcharts or Powerpoint, and she said the magic words ‘There’ll be wine and nibbles’

‘We want to show’ we were told ‘that there’s more to the Algarve than beaches and golf courses’

That had me hooked; for if there’s one thing that’s put me off the place in the past, it’s the vision of a bunch of orange-hued expats chasing golf balls around.

And, on the principle of ‘show, not tell’, there was a slide show illustrating just that. So, the Algarve is on our short list for the New Year.

The stands I visited are far to numerous to list here, so, having mentioned what I think was the best, I’ll tell about a brief call at ‘a certain Eastern European’ stand, where I was offered vodka, flavoured with chili and honey. I must have made a face, or something, because he asked, anxiously:

‘You didn’t like it?’

Well, as an understatement, it’s only surpassed by the QANTAS A380 captain’s ‘slight engineering issue’ a few weeks ago. But, diplomatic as ever, I just said ‘Not really’.


  1. Hi Keith,
    Belgium chocolate verrrry nice. The mouth has starting watering, I can almost taste it.
    Vodka flavored with chili and honey, I don’t know Keith, sounds a bit odd to me, I just couldn’t imagine what this must of tasted like. I wonder just how many people really did like the taste, I should imagine not many.
    Sounds like a very interesting outing.

    • I can’t pass through Belgium without buying chocolate, even though Belgian chocolate is easily obtainable at home. Last July, I bought pralines and some chocolate bars between trains in Brussels … it was only the following evening that I saw the bars were actually made in Germany.

      But, they were very nice, anyway …

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