Nearly 14,000 travellers packed out Earls Court for this year’s TNT Travel Show, sponsored by Flight Centre, scooping up exclusive travel deals of up to 50%.
The 12% rise in attendance from last year (12,260 to 13,772) flies in the face of the current doom-and-gloom economy reports, with some of the 111 exhibitors (up by 31 from last year’s 80) recording double the amount of bookings they took at 2011’s event.
March 3 kicked off with hundreds of eager travellers waiting for the doors to open outside Earls Court, with headline sponsor Flight Centre reporting “queues at least 10 deep” from 9am.
Travellers from across the world spent hours at the all-day event – with many booking up to six holidays for the next year, as well as relaxing at the Laško beer garden. The event also boasted a South Africa village and recruitment fair for the first time.
Visitor Bryah Bell said she booked “flights to Malta for a girls weekend and Homelanz tickets”, she added: “I’m a happy camper.”
Nicole Waters said: “Cheers TNT! Booked a few trips and had a great time!”
There was a constant stream of people throughout the day, with all exhibitors reporting good news.
The ‘Contiki Fairy’ said: “TNT is amazing this year; we had a Contiki stand which was unbelievably busy, always good news for us.
“Then we had our Contiki Games stand with all sorts of stuff going on… visitors get to win holidays and all sorts of prizes. TNT’s always great for us – this year more so as we’ve gone a bit bigger and better.”
Other exhibitors had similarly good reviews, with Wicked Campers reporting: “We’ve had a constant supply of people getting quotes from us since the show opened with most people making bookings.”
Sail Croatia said: “People are coming with diaries open and ready… the majority of the people coming to the stand are booking trips with us.”
Plus Hostels was also pleased with the number of bookings it took on the day. A spokesman said: “We’ve been really busy and have had a great mix of people coming to our stand, young and older. We definitely think there has been heaps more interest than last year – overall, it’s been great.”
Kevin Ellis, CEO of TNT Multimedia, said: “As with previous years, we had throngs of people literally lined around the side of the building waiting to book their travels for the coming year.
“We were really happy to see so many operators doing record business and it was very satisfying to see that the audience has not only grown in size but diversified as well, with plenty of UK locals and older travellers joining the mix.
“We’re already looking ahead now to our Sun and Snow Travel Show, scheduled for October.”
The TNT Sun & Snow Show is planned for October 27, 2012. Keep an eye on www.tnttravelshow.com for more details.
London’s biggest free travel expo, the TNT Travel Show should be the first port of call for anyone serious about holidays - from weekend escapes to globe-trekking tours.