The 40th edition of World Travel Market London was busy for GEC PR, with the team meeting with industry partners and media to update them on the exciting developments taking place with our clients. Key travel trends were also discussed during seminars at WTM, and we learnt all about the latest environmental concerns faced by the industry and the rise of conscious travel, as well as the changing role of the digital landscape in promoting destinations.
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board’s stand attracted non-stop attention at World Travel Market in London’s Docklands (November 4-6, 2019) as UK interest in the Indian state’s unique tourist attractions continues to grow.
It’s been a busy month for GEC PR with the team hitting the road (and air!) for various client events and roadshows. One of those events was TTG Luxpo in Belfast, during which I spent a very productive and informative afternoon meeting with the Irish travel industry to talk about the new luxury product offerings in the Maldives.
The event was the perfect opportunity to meet with premium travel agents during one-to-one meetings and to update them on all the new tourism developments taking place across the Maldives including the opening of the ground-breaking multi-island Crossroads project which will be the largest integrated resort in the Indian Ocean.
Other exciting news included the developments at Velana International Airport which will provide capacity for the terminal to cater for over 7.5 million passengers and the continuous expansion of luxury hotel product in the Maldives with the opening of international brands such as Waldorf Astoria Maldives, Lux* North Male Atoll and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives this year alone.
The venue itself, The Merchant Hotel in Belfast, was also a beautiful location for the event and provided the perfect backdrop to showcase all the wonderful new luxury tourism products taking place.
Next on the agenda is World Travel Market so stay tuned for more updates on what’s to come……
Kyoto Traveler’s Inn has shared some tips on key Japanese etiquette for UK sports fans heading to Japan this autumn for the Rugby World Cup 2019.
Intrepid travellers keen to experience traditional Japanese hospitality and explore the Japanese city of Kyoto can do this and more during a stay at Kyoto Traveler’s Inn, which is located in the Okazaki area of the Higashiyama district of the city. The hotel is well-suited for those who want to see the sites of Kyoto following the Rugby World Cup games, since many of the city’s shrines and temples are located within walking distance from the hotel.
Philadelphia. An American city of cheesesteaks, Rocky Balboa and LOVE. But once you’ve run up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and tucked into a cheesesteak at Reading Terminal Market, what is there to do next in the East Cost metropolis?
Here’s our list of the top five under-the-radar attractions that should be included on any itinerary in Philadelphia.
Fishtown and Philadelphia Distilling
Philadelphia’s cool neighbourhood of Fishtown is a haven for trendy travellers looking to immerse themselves amongst likeminded locals. Along with vibrant eateries, including the highly rated smokehouse Fette Sau, the area is also home to Philadelphia Distilling, which is the first craft distillery in the state of Pennsylvania since prohibition. Following a tour at the distillery (and a cocktail or two) head to Garage Philly to enjoy traditional American arcade games, including skeeball, or a beer in front of a Philadelphia Eagles game.
Although the city is home to two of America’s oldest markets, Reading Terminal Market and the South 9th Street Italian Market, foodies visiting the city should also visit The Bourse, which has recently been transformed into a modern food hall with 30 different vendors. We’d recommend trying a grilled cheese at Mighty Melt or tacos from Takorean, which offers a delicious fusion of Korean and Mexican flavours. There’s not a tub of Philadelphia cream cheese in sight!
Philadelphia Magic Gardens
Following a visit to the renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation and Rodin Museum, travellers with a love for art should be sure to head to South Street for a visit to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. The gardens are a spectacular immersive art environment which were created by the mysterious mosaicist Isaiah Zagar, who started decorating the indoor and outdoor space as a therapeutic outlet after having a nervous breakdown.
“Dark tourists” who love being disturbingly informed can view a collection of skulls, a giant’s skeleton and even Einstein’s brain at The Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Regarded as America’s finest museum of medical history, the Mütter Museum displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th-century “cabinet museum” setting, which is creepy enough as it stands!
Eastern State Penitentiary
The sprawling ruins of the Eastern State Penitentiary were once part of the most famous and expensive prison in the world and was even home to the Mafia gangster Al ‘Scarface’ Capone. The prison is now a museum and offers visitors tours through the crumbling cellblocks. Although there are debates over whether the prison is haunted or not, there’s no question that it’s the spookiest place in the city!
- The Bourse exterior photo by Kyle Huff
- Mutter Museum photo credit Kyle Huff for PHLCVB
- Eastern State Penitentiary photo credit Kyle Huff for PHLCVB
- Skyline from South Street Bridge Spring 2019 photo credit Kyle Huff for PHLCVB
The Maldives sponsored a gala dinner and drinks reception at Celtic Manor Resort’s Celebrity Cup in Newport, South Wales, from 13th – 14th July 2019, marking the first time a tourism brand has got involved in this prestigious golf event.
With the heat of summer fading and the cooler months of autumn approaching, now is the time to dine and drink al fresco in Philadelphia’s vibrant outdoor spaces.
As Chair of the UK’s Tourism Society PR Network, I had the pleasure of bringing together some of the UK’s top broadcast travel presenters and producers for The Society’s PR summer event – From Broadcast to Bookings: How To Effectively Engage with TV and Radio Producers.
On the panel were: BBC Travel Presenter Rajan Datar; Andy Clarke, Producer for James Martin’s Adventures; Chris Richards, Series Producer for Travel Man; and BBC Radio veteran and MD of Whistledown Productions David Prest.
The event was attended by a host of tourism brands and PRs, who have since fed back that the tips the panellists shared were really useful and insightful, so in the spirit of assisting travel brand/PR/broadcaster relationships, here are eight tips I took away and intend to implement to get the best out of broadcast opportunities for my travel clients:
1. Allow broadcasters to share their brief with you – before pitching what you think they should see and do. America worked well for James Martin’s team because the tourism boards listened to the producer’s creative needs and requirements (AC)
2. Before pitching to a programme, it sounds obvious but do watch it first before sharing your bespoke pitch ideas (All)
3. Ask yourself why your destination would be relevant to that TV or radio programme. Is there something timely happening that would make for an interesting angle? Is there a unique story exclusive to that destination? (CR)
4. To showcase a destination, let broadcasters meet the people living there – they are the best storytellers about their own country (RD)
5. Recommend good people on the ground within the destination that will make the lives of the broadcast team easier – the name of a good fixer is invaluable information (RD)
6. Try and nurture relationships with a journalist/producer and remember that although a project may not happen overnight, those relationships can prove indispensable in the longer-term (AC)
7. B Roll can be useful for TV, but remember it should feature a diverse mix of people (RD)
8. Great radio requires great facts, great characters and great sound effects (DP)
Boat hire website Click&Boat has shared five last-minute ‘staycation’ deals for British and Irish holidaymakers looking to stay close to home this summer. Continue reading
Culinary connoisseurs visiting the Maldives this summer will have a mouthwatering choice of food sensations to choose from. Continue reading