Posted by: travelrat | November 9, 2012

World Travel Market 2012

Among the ‘swag’ I picked up at the World Travel Market on Monday was this unusual item from Belgium/Flanders Tourism. A packet of poppy seeds … and isn’t it a great idea? To mark the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI, they want to create a ‘world wide poppy field’, and where better than the WTM to distribute the seeds?

However, poppies are prolific around here, and I shall have to think of somewhere where no poppies grow to sow my seeds. But, I have plenty of time; the packet says April is the best time to do it.

(There might be environmental concerns in some places, so these should, of course, be taken into account)

Last year, I tried the ‘WTM Planner’, and spent most of my time rushing from appointment to appointment, bouncing around like a squash ball on speed. This year, I didn’t make any plans, just browsed … apart from calling in to the Jordan stand to see my friend Adeeb Alhasanat.

He particularly asked me to make the point, where I could, that, despite the ‘troubles in the Middle East’, Jordan is welcoming and safe for visitors … a point I’ve been making for the last ten years. King Abdullah put it better, when he wrote:

‘Just because there is a riot in Boston doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go to Cincinnati’

I made other calls at stalls representing places we’re visiting on our upcoming cruises. St Petersburg were particularly welcoming and friendly … and I found out that Russian chocolate is surprisingly good. The young man on the Finland stand was rather disappointed we were only going to spend one day in Helsinki.

‘You should go north, and see the Aurora!’

I explained we would probably see it on the ‘Northern Lights’ cruise to Norway in March. He said the Finnish display is better, because, like in Britain, the eastern coast is less affected by the weather.

But, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

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