This time last week I teamed up with travel blogger, Kat Molesworth, to visit the World Travel Market in London. We road-tested pretty much everything on display at this annual gathering of globetrotters. Here are our highlights…
1. The food and drink
From Slovenian plonk to sweet treats from Budapest, we certainly didn’t go thirsty or hungry at the World Travel Market. And that’s just the tip of the gastronomic iceberg. Indonesia served up gelato with an Asian twist while Italy delivered Neapolitan tomato-based classics. But Costa Rica perhaps stole the show with its sculpted banana ‘dolphins’ and fresh pineapple chunks cut to resemble birds and butterflies. The traditional hot chocolate was incredible, too.
2. The costumes
Of course, the World Travel Market gives tourist boards a great excuse to dig out their national dress and step out in style. From South American ceremonial masks, to Caribbean feather-topped headdresses, by way of elegant silk ensembles from India and Bhutan, there were tog-tastic Instagram pics waiting around every corner. Top marks go to the green-faced fella at the Kerala stand who modelled a sundial-like crown, a big ruff collar and a wide-wedge bustle skirt. How he didn’t get bored of taking selfies, we don’t know!
3. The music and dance
There was loads to tick off on this front. Taiwan put its best foot forward in a graceful dance piece, accompanied by an angle-defying acrobatic routine. Not to be upstaged, Latin America delivered mariachi bands from Mexico and hip-shimmying beats from Bolivia. African rhythms, meanwhile, were brought to life by musicians and dancers from Kenya.
4. Everything else
There was a fair whack of the weird and wonderful at the World Travel Market. Highlights included Platform 9 and ¾ from the Harry Potter movies, brick-made flowers from Legoland Dubai, Mickey Mouse hat selfies courtesy of team USA, Japanese virtual-reality skiing, and Brighton Pier-style Aunt Sallies from Thailand.