The Med

Guest column: Craig Moyes, WTM exhibition director



World Travel Market has been working hard to improve the transport experience of delegates at WTM 2009 following the disruption of last year.

I was very disappointed by the transport experience of many WTM visitors at last year"s event - which was caused by a number of separate incidents on the London Underground and the Docklands Light Railway.
All delegates can rest assured that WTM is doing all it can to make sure the same problems do not repeat themselves this year or in the future. Straight after WTM 2008 I wrote to a number of influential individuals and organisations to lobby for their support to avoid similar issues at future WTMs.
 
These influential people and organisations included:
Barbara Follett UK Minister for Tourism
Boris Johnson Major of London
Baroness Anelay President of WTM Advisory Council and Conservative Party Chief Whip
Baroness Valentine London First
Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister for Transport
David Hornby Visit London
Kevin Murphy CEO ExCeL London
 
Following this a Transport Working Party was set up - made up of WTM, ExCeL -London , Transport for London, Secro DLR, London Underground, London Buses and Visit London. The working party meets regularly to assess the latest transport situation and has helped WTM implement a number of new initiatives for this year"s event.
 
To help mitigate the poor transport experience of many visitors in 2008, World Travel Market is looking to reduce the reliance on the Docklands Light Railway by introducing a range of alternative transport options, including;
* free coach transfer from eight key hotels (only available to delegates staying in those hotels),
* dramatically increasing the capacity of the free bus fleet from Canning Town by using bendy buses instead of double decker buses, which increases the capacity of each bus from 85 to 150 people
* River Thames commuter boat operator Thames Clippers is increasing the frequency of catamarans from every 15 minutes in 2008 to every 10 minutes in 2009
* The introduction of clearly signposted walkway from Canning Town Station to offer an alternative route to the event
 
WTM has also worked closely with London Transport to improve the frequency of DLR trains to and from Custom House for WTM 2009. DLR has promised me trains this year will be more frequent than last year"s every 3.3 minutes. It will confirm the frequency in August.
 
London Transport have also assured me the re-opening of Tower Gateway Station will help to ease congestion at Canning Town Station by giving visitors the opportunity to commence their journey from an earlier station.
 
World Travel Market is doing all it can to make your transport experience to and from this year"s event as smooth as possible. World Travel Market is the premier global event for the travel industry and I hope you will all attend WTM 2009 and help us celebrate our landmark 30th anniversary.
 
World Travel Market has no direct control over the travel experience of its delegates to and from ExCeL - London. However, we have worked hard to exert our considerable influence on the transport authorities, which have all assured me they will do all they can to make travel to and from WTM 2009 as smooth and stress-free as possible.
 
This commitment alongside the number of WTM transport initiatives in place for this year leaves me confident all delegates will have a successful landmark 30th WTM.
 
Craig Moyes
Exhibition Director
World Travel Market

Tuesday, July 28, 2009



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  • Reply to transport comments

    Aslan, I would like to reassure you that WTM does not take its visitors for granted. All at WTM strive to improve WTM each year for the benefit of our visitors and exhibitors. In 2008, WTM saw a record number of participants (almost 50,000) which I believe is testament to the commitment we have to our visitors and exhibitors. Unfortunately, as I outlined in my column, last year"s travel experience was disappointing. WTM has gone to great lengths to avoid similar problems this year and in the future. In response to your three points; 1.Transport: WTM is not responsible for transport to and from ExCeL, but has always worked closely with London Transport to supply a good transport service to visitors. Last year"s unfortunate transport experience was caused by a number of separate incidents on the transport network. We have lobbied a number of senior high profile organisations and individuals to attempt to ensure such incidents are not repeated. WTM is also introducing a number of our own initiatives to give delegates a number of transport alternatives. 2.Hotels: WTM, through its hotel partner Expotel, has secured a large number of hotel rooms for WTM delegates. Prices currently start at £106 per night. Delegates should book as early as possible to get the most competitive rates. 3.Catering: With almost 50,000 people attending WTM the refreshment facilities at ExCeL will clearly have busy times. We work very closely with ExCeL to make sure the refreshment facilities are well staffed throughout the day. The 2010 expansion of ExCeL will see more catering facilities and greater choice introduced to the venue.

    By Craig Moyes, Tuesday, August 4, 2009

  • WTM - An avoidable jaunt

    This column by Craig Moyes reeks of hollow promises and just reinforces how impotent WTM is to improve the visitor experience. Coupled with very expensive lodging, outrageous prices for food and drink and a commute that takes a very long time at best, WTM has unfortunately become an avoidable exercise!

    By Kaushik Sen, Thursday, July 30, 2009

  • NEVER WTM AGAIN IN MY LIFE TIME

    I attended WTM since 1999 and last year I sweared myself not to go and visit again. The past 10 years I spent around £7K for transport, hotels and food but instead as being a good visitor always have been taken granted by WTM Organisers. They failed to supply 1- Good transportation between London and WTM 2- Reasonable priced nearby accommodation 3- Civilized eating AND drinking places by smiling staff in WTM. Some days I queued up more then 25 minutes for simple cup of coffee...do you want any more reason why I would never visit WTM again...Simply I do not believe those organisers who took us GRANTED MANY MANY YEARS PROMISING WITH GOOD SERVICE BUT never DELIVERED...If I should save £7K over the years I can easily take more then five all inclusive holidays in 5 star resort and my coffee will be served under the sun less then 5 minutes with smiling faces..BYE BYE WTM...Aslan / Buzz Holidays / www.buzzytravel.com

    By ALPASLAN SAG, Wednesday, July 29, 2009

  • Use Social Networking Instead

    To avoid getting pushed onto the tracks or having doors close across your skull, go online to find contacts. Really works. The people you are looking for tend to have a few moments for you then as well.

    By Gary Phillips, Tuesday, July 28, 2009

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