This week London has been hosting the World Travel Market (WTM) at ExCeL London from November 1 to 3 . Incidentally ExCeL , owned by Abu Dhabi was a centre for overflow Covid hospitalisations in London.
The theme of the event was ‘reconnect, rebuild’ and certainly there was a lot of reconnection being done, and I guess some new connections as well. All hopefully leading to rebuilding tourism – in a sustainable way to fit in with another major event in Britain the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
It was busy – with queues to get in, possibly due to the need not only to scan each arrival’s entry pass, but also their proof of COVID-19 status. I came prepared with a paper NHS Covid-Pass and as I was going to visit the stands from The Gulf – I came prepared with the Arabic Translation 😄 (great service by the NHS).
As usual, the stands from the Arab world were clustered together – Saudi Arabia had a vast area, split into several sections.
One aspect of the country they promoted was the S-S-S – which usually stands for Sun Sea and Sand – plenty of all 3 in Saudi – however, the version Saudi swapped in was Sun Sea and Snow !
I took some energy booting dates and moved on through Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar, which was promoting the World Cup 2022.
It was disappointing not to see a stand for Oman, though several companies from outside Oman had rather cleverly added Oman to their geographic footprint.