London Mayor, Ken Livingston, presented a powerful opening speech at the international World Travel Market, which saw some 5,000 visitors from 180 countries arrive at Londonå‘s ExCel to shape the travel industry for the year ahead.
News for our international spa industry is good… The WTM witnessed a record number of spa and wellness resorts in attendance at this international event. New projects, massive investments, property developments and refurbishments were all under discussion, with projected planning and profit potential on the increase.
One of the big success stories at this year’s WTM was witnessed on centre stage as the acclaimed 2002 World Travel Awards, hosted by the renowned World Travel Group, were recreated. Winners unable to attend the spectacular award ceremony held in St. Lucia last month, were presented with their prestigious awards.
Costas Galatariotis, Managing Director of Le Meridien Limassol Spa and Resort in Cyprus, which picked up the coveted award for Europe’s Leading Spa Resort told Spas-weekly, “We are absolutely delighted! It is a great honour for us and the culmination of investment in the spa and hard work by our driven team”.
Another popular area was Transun Travel, where one of the UK’s leading specialist independent tour operators launched its new Chilli division and brochure to wide acclaim.
Hundreds of visitors flocked to the stand during the four day event, where the original and innovative brochure was prominently displayed. Supported by an intriguing marketing campaign, the programme to Thailand and the Far East, focussing on the island of Samui, generated mass interest.
The full extent of this interest was demonstrated by an official visit to the Chilli stand by Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana of the kingdom of Thailand, as a predominant part of her royal visit to WTM, London. The Princess and her entourage were greeted and shown to the stand’s first floor where she shared a conversation with Transun’s Managing Director, Paul Kostich, who later revealed that the Princess had been intrigued by the Chilli concept and enquired about the programme’s special focus on Koh Samui.
“With the launch of Chilli, this was a massive week for Transun”, said Mr Kostich. “It was a great pleasure and privilege to welcome the Princess. We are delighted at this formal recognition of the quality of our product and hope it continues to attract such notable attention. It capped what was an exciting and promising week for Chilli”.
This was followed by an official visit from Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sport and the Chairman of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, His Excellency Mr Sontaya Kunplome, who expressed a particular interest in the concentration on the island of Samui.
The Chilli brochure for Thailand and the Far East is an exciting departure for Transun, which has been successfully operating quality European holidays and day breaks for over 20 years. It focuses on the idyllic Thai island of Samui, which previously has been largely neglected by the UK market. Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, it enjoys the best climate in Thailand, with a limited monsoon season making it an almost year-round destination. Nor does it suffer from the over-development of some other Thai resorts, with no hotel allowed to be built above the height of the tallest palm.
Transun’s commitment to Koh Samui is illustrated by the fact that the company has created a new division, with dedicated staff based in offices on Samui. This enables Chilli to offer a range of accommodation on Samui unparalleled and unprecedented in the UK market. It benefits from a local knowledge and on-the-spot expertise that no other UK operator can match. The benefits of the company’s representation on the ground in Samui were signalled by the arrival in London of many of the Thai hoteliers whose properties feature in the brochure and who flew in especially for Chilli’s WTM debut.
Picture: Her Royal Highness Ubolratana from The Kingdom of Thailand met with Mr Paul Kostich, President and CEO of Transun Travel UK during the launch of the Chilli Thailand brochure at the World Travel Market in London