Wow - a month since my last post on here but what a week this has been. World Travel Market is over 5000 travel stands from destinations all around the world crammed into ExCel with 45000 visitors. It's manic but great fun !
I normally go just on Wednesday which has become known as GayDay as there is a masterclass given by Ian Johnson of OutNow Consulting. This attracts all the boyz and girlz from the industry plus a lot of our friends from IGLTA and we all decamp to Profile afterwards.
But this year was special. Monday is reserved for invitees only and I got four invites ! So here I was, with the good and the great of World Travel, mingling with Ambassadors promoting their countries and me, talking up gay travel. It's amazing that less than two months after starting to sell Gran Canaria holidays, I am welcomed by the Head of the Local Tourist Board and a queue is formed from accommodation owners wanting to work with Amro Worldwide.
But it's sad that even in mass market Spain, places like Torremolinos and even Sitges fail to recognise the size and spending power of the gay consumers at these difficult times. Contrast this with Barcelona and Sevilla - both of whom publish gay guides packed with information and readily available in local tourist information booths or from us.
But it's in our niche destinations that we are especially warmly welcomed. Martha from Peru, Carlos from Costa Rica and Merina from Buenos Aires all have great track records of giving the gay traveller exactly what they want and their party at the In & Out was wonderful again.
I suppose it's a reflection on changing trends that I spent less time on the US stands than at any time since I started Amro back in 2002. But here there was a huge optimism that a new president would revive the travel industry fortunes. Our New Orleans partners were particularlty keen to point out that the largest number of British visitors to the US was in 2001 when the pound bought just 1.40 dollars - so don't despair yet and with £199 fares to New York don't hold back either !
So busy was the week, I actually spent three full days in ExCel and judging by our enquiries travel is very much on everyone's mind as the winter nights set in.
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Gay insider tips for Peru
- Check out Fallen Angel in Cusco, a funky gay friendly bar and restaurant with creative artwork for sale. Check out the toilets!
- Pick up great souviners at the Pisac Markets
- For the adventurous try the local cuisine of Cuy (Guinea Pig)
- Drinks plenty of fluids and Coca tea in Lake Titicaca
- Get to Machu Picchu early