Everyone knows that travel can be unpredictable. Even in Germany. Our train from Frankfurt to Düsseldorf was supposed to be a 90 minute ride on an ICE train but turned out to be a 3 hour journey. Electricity problems. The weather also did not play along and shortly after arrival a storm broke loose with thunder and lightning. A dramatic reception.
Lunch at Zchweine Janes in the Aldstadt was another pork and beer affair. Then it was back to business. Düsseldorf’s travel agents arrived at Altes Stahlwerkand and we rolled with our Western Cape promotion. Yes, Düsseldorf travel agents have been to South Africa. A few only to Johannesburg and the Kruger for safari but many others experienced the Western Cape. Travel agents wanted to know about excursions and itineraries. Again the question about new and different products came up. It was clear from the comments that nature is an easy sell. The penguins take the podium when it comes to tourist attractions. People wanted to know how places can be linked and what routes they should be taking. What to do after they’ve been to Table Mountain? The Karoo was mentioned a few times with Oudtshoorn’s authentic farm stay and ostriches providing good memories. Luxury tents close to tourist attractions also seem to work well and the tents close to Simons Town received a shout out.
Over dinner we discussed the concept of luxury travel. Luxury means different things to different people. To some luxury is connectivity while others can not imagine a more luxurious experience than to be cut off from the rest of the world. Some travellers want a host of modern conveniences while others consider luxury to be sleeping in the middle of nowhere. Panama Tourism’s message plays a little to this concept. Panama is sold as a destination for travellers and not for tourists. Today, people do not want to be part of the crowd standing in front of a statue taking photos before rushing off to the next sight. Very few people want the “buffet experience”. Travellers want to know that they are doing something a little different. Holiday experiences travel quickly to social media platforms to claim bragging rights and tourism product owners need to make sure they offer a unique and personal touch. The agents also enjoyed interacting with true “Capies” who knows their destination well and could answer questions. Business cards ran out in Düsseldorf. As my friend James says “people buy from people” and after viewing the promotional video the audience had many questions and promised to send emails with more questions. With the travel show done the group of destination marketers went out like tourists in Düsseldorf.