St Helena at World Travel Market 2017
This week saw a delegation from St Helena fly from the island for the very first time to attend World Travel Market (WTM), London’s global travel industry event (6-8 November).
The tourism promotional roadshow team included recently appointed Director of Tourism, Helena Bennett, Chair of the Tourism Sub Committee, Giselle Richards, Tourism Officer, Melissa Fowler, Dr Niall O’Keefe from Enterprise St Helena (ESH) and Governor Lisa Phillips as well as the French Consul, Michel Martineau, Craig Yon of Into the Blue, Derek Richards of Island Images and Vince Thompson from the St Helena Independent newspaper. Not forgetting the youngest member of the group, Kelly Jonas from the tourist office, who experienced the joys of flying for the first time.
Delegates were kept busy thanks to a regular stream of visitors flocking to the stand. Accompanied by a full schedule of meetings with the likes of media such as Wanderlust magazine, and tour operators including Discover the World and Voyages Jules Verne.
Reception at Westminster
On Monday night a reception was held at the Palace of Westminster to celebrate the launch of the scheduled air service. Hosted by St Helena Government, St Helena Tourism and the St Helena All Party Parliamentary Group, the event was attended by sixty-plus ministers, friends of St Helena and media.
Speaking to the assembled guests, the new Director of Tourism talked of her passion for St Helena, and her pride at being part of the delegation representing the island in London. “This would not have been possible without the flight service,” she said. Her sentiments were echoed by the Governor, who spoke of the honour of being the last Governor to arrive via the RMS St Helena and the first to leave the island by air.
Helena also took the opportunity to announce the launch of the Environmental Conference Programme 2018.
Spreading the news
Tuesday saw a chance for the news about the newest tourism destination accessible by air to be spread further afield, with the Governor interviewed on radio and by NBC TV. Meanwhile back on the stand Jonathan Clingham was broadcasting live on Saint FM, capturing impressions from delegates and show visitors.
On Wednesday, while Melissa and Kelly continued manning the stand at WTM, the rest of the delegation took the roadshow to Paris. The French leg of the trip included a reception at the British Embassy to promote St Helena to the French market as well as a meeting with Musee de L’Armee and Napoleonic Foundation to discuss plans for the 2021 bicentenary.
Finally the group will attend an industry event in Cape Town on Friday before flying back to the island on Saturday morning.
Thanks to Vince Thompson for the header image.