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WTM response: transport Look past the ‘no-frills’ After 50 years in the industry,
woes and visitor issues transfer operators I feel qualified to comment
I strongly refute that World Travel Market I was interested but not altogether surprised Having read P J Bidgood’s response to my letter
was not treating visitors fairly, but agree with to see Jenny’s comments regarding her recent about selling (TTG November 21) I would like to
TTG’s comments about the public transport experiences in Barcelona (TTG November 21). set his mind at rest about a couple of things.
disruption during WTM (TTG November 21). Jenny will admit that her main reason for First, he “somewhat wonders how many
Contrary to Mr Wiersum’s views, the new rejecting my regular overtures to her about years Mr English spent behind the counter”.
admission policy was a success: less restrictive using has been on the I have been in this industry for nearly 50
for visitors and more productive for exhibitors. grounds of minor price differentials. years, and I should add that 25 of those years
Monday focused on those executives with Maybe this will be the gentle nudge required were spent working on the counter.
whom exhibitors had said they wished to for Jenny to understand that for a minimal When I felt that I could usefully share my
specifically conduct business, while targeted incremental cost, she would have received the experience with others I moved into training
initiatives on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday service she expected, and instead of waiting and, since then, have been involved with travel
introduced a more even spread of visitors, around for drivers, could have met with a industry training and standards.
allowing exhibitors greater ability to manage representative at a check-in desk. I feel that I am very well qualified to write
their stand resource effectively. Transfers have recently become more of a about selling skills, which I know about through
This resulted in World Travel Market having necessity to the customer, not an add-on, and experience and qualification.
its largest attendance ever, breaking the have huge significance as this is where the As far as Emma Downey’s comment is
50,000 barrier, an increase of 12%. holiday experience starts. concerned, I can only speak of what she wrote,
The transport problems gave all of us Agents must look past the “no-frills” transfer whether that be a personal opinion or otherwise.
concern about how an earth London will cope operators. After all, you get what you pay for. If she actually does not dislike “clients that
with the 2012 Olympics. don’t know what they want but expect you to”
This was a disappointing start to an impor- Mark Sutton then it would have been better had she not said
tant business week for the industry, both in the managing director, she did.
UK and globally. This was a situation out of our I will simply emphasise again what I wrote
control, but it does not stop us recognising just Added-value sales are in response to her alleged words. Those travel
how difficult this made things for all participants. crucial in a volatile market consultants who dislike the “don’t know what
However, we took the precaution of hiring I sympathise with Jenny’s plight (TTG November they want” clients are expressing a dislike of
nine 90-seat double decker buses to provide an 21), but add-ons are of increasing importance of those who are their best prospects.
additional complimentary shuttle service from in this incredibly volatile market. I do not intend to vilify anyone’s efforts; I
Canning Town to ExCeL London to alleviate any People will travel less frequently next year, simply present the facts.
pressure at peak times. and even downgrade their hotel, but whatever
Barbara Follett, the culture minister, has the trip they want it to meet theirs (and their Richard English, Retraining
even made a public apology to WTM delegates less sympathetic children’s expectations) and
on behalf of the government. Apologies are that’s where value-addeds come in.
What do you think?
good to receive but we need action to reassure Take the likes of attraction ticket specialists
everyone that this will not be repeated. such as Keith Prowse and Attraction World, who The deadline for letters is 10am on Tuesday.
You can be sure that we will work ceaselessly paid out millions in commission to agents in We need your name, job title and company
to minimise transport difficulties for delegates 2008, or the good-value Kids Eat Free Card in address. These will be withheld on request.
next year. Orlando and Spain – a great way for families to Priority is given to letters sent exclusively
But everyone needs to play their part, save money and for agents to make a fortune to TTG. Please limit letters to 250 words
lobbying the powers that be that the travel next year. maximum. We reserve the right to edit.
industry deserves better. Next time you are travelling, Jenny, let me Email:
know. We’ll make sure your next value-added Fax: 020 7921 8033
Craig Moyes experience lives up to its name! Blog: Or why not have your say online?
exhibition director, Write a blog at
World Travel Market Kevin Brett, HAT Marketing
05.12.2008 41
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