Which holiday destination could prove to be the most popular in 2016? The answer might be Cuba, judging by the number of people visiting their stand at this year’s Destinations show. With seventy other tourist boards and over 500 travel brands exhibiting, the country faces some stiff opposition but seemed to be holding its own.
The holiday and travel show, which runs from the 4th to the 7th February and is held at Olympia, West London is a tremendous day out for those who like to to spend time thinking and planning their summer holidays well in advance. Its also an opportunity to listen to over thirty celebrity speakers talking about everything from the UK’s coastline (Patrick Barkham) to the eccentric pioneers who climbed K2 (Mick Conefrey). Throw in the Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year Gallery and the Standfords Travel Writers Festival and it represents good value for the £16 entrance fee.
So what caught our eye when we attended the show yesterday? Well, look out for two giant St Bernard’s dogs lolling around or the equally large Viking (although we thought Vikings were blond and this one is, well, a brunette). And do take advantage of the myriad of free treats that are being used to entice you on to the exhibitors’ stands, including free massages (Thailand, of course).
Now we know that working on an exhibition stand for four days can be a tad boring but we would suggest to some of the exhibitors that letting their staff become absorbed in their mobile phones seems a bit self-defeating. The Cuban stand staff were certainly too busy to check theirs.