A couple of days ago Catherine Mack posed a great question on Twitter: What is your dream come true for #WTM2012?
Those in the know know that #wtm stands for World Travel Market, a ginormous annual travel trade event in London.
As I blog #wtm2011 is underway and we’ll see in the next few days if the event is a harbinger of change. Personally, I’ll be measuring the event by the ways it engages those of us not in the room. Earlier this year I made my first trip to London and I had a wonderful experience, thanks to following the longtail network developed through niche interests and years of slow conversations with people I trust.
That said, this week I will observe the World Travel Market from a considerable distance. While not attending in person, I have a number of friends and colleagues who are, and I would like to find ways to amplify their discoveries as shared on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. I’d also like to engage my attention to the degree possible without having to make a costly investment in terms of carbon emissions and ticket prices.
Truth be told I’d be hard pressed to say what would be my dream come true for this year, but if you asked me to wish for something in 2012 … that’s a conversation with legs! Agree or disagree, here are some ideas on making World Travel Market a more relevant, effective and event.
- Learn how to wiki. I’m not talking #WikiLeaks and dead drops but rather the whole wiki philosophy of transparent, crowdsourced information. Like snowflakes, two wikis are never the same. I’d love to see an in-house World Travel Market wiki and a willingness from WTM organizers and participants to use other independent wikis, including Planeta’s Wiki.
- Organize a London photosafari (or safaris) – Take some of the event outside please and include locals and random passersby.
- Make the Responsible Tourism Awards more transparent — I’d love to see a more transparent system of nomination, acceptance and announcement. It’s a bummer to have to wait until the event to learn who are the award winners!
- Enhance the Fringe Events – I’m hoping that Fringe 2011 has some online interaction with those of us not at the 7 Dials Club. Last year’s live streaming (see http://www.justin.tv/rtfringe) teased those of us not at the cocktail hour with a possibility of conversation. Perhaps the 2012 Fringe could be connected with a photo safari.
- Offer free wi-fi and livestreaming video – Make it easy for those in attendance to share their thoughts with the world … and vice-versa.
- Talk about climate change in meaningful fashion. How do we address responsible tourism when carbon emissions from long-haul travel are so large? Carbon offsetting is a maligned bandaid response. Is there anything else on the table? As Valere Tjolle puts it, we should address the elephant in the room.