The ABTA convention in Cairns was billed to be one of the most interesting and confrontational…
What with the withdrawal of some key speakers including Peter Shanks of Going Places the convention lost some of its Sting.
We all came away learning about Perfect Moments, in what today`s customer really wants. The word service kept coming up. Mass market tour operating was a side issue and price did not seem to a consideration when people book holidays. This is what happens when market researchers come up with big theories without having been sat in an agency selling holidays.
Another topic was the Internet, strangely enough one panel on this discussion member said that An agency should change the carpet in the shop rather than invest in the internet. The internet is going to be a major part in travel but how specifically was yet to be determined, although at the present time, web sites and interactive systems were new innovations which seem to top of most peoples` agenda.
What was encouraging was the response on the EOT stand to the venue for the convention in Kos in 2000. Any delegate that came to the stand was impressed firstly with the existence of such a comprehensive and large convention centre in Greece and secondly with the facilities on offer. EOT provided Greek dancers in full costume during lunch and the bazaar periods on both the Saturday and Sunday of the convention, this was liked very much and many delegates participated in the dancing. Delegates were pleased the convention was being held in Kos and comfortable about the venue. On the Monday of the convention Mr Panos Argyros addressed all the delegates with a wonderful speech from the heart, he offered the audience a very warm welcome to Kos, highlighting the history and charm of the island, underlining the fabulous state of the art centre in Kos assuring everyone that it will be convention not to be forgotten.
Overall the weather in Cairns (raining all the time) did little to underline the virtues of Queensland and the organisers made insufficient attempts at promoting the destination to the delegates apart from offering plenty of wine and beer.