33 different faces of Digbeth

The idea of snapping faces developed during today’s photowalk around Digbeth, a district just south of Moor Street Station in Birmingham that’s a little bit arty, a little bit gritty and with a whole lot of industrial heritage contained within. Thanks to Matt & Pete’s Photo School for running the two-hour walk – more photowalk events can be found here. A night-time walk is apparently imminent.

105 tourism slogans from around the world #WTM12

Country slogans and tourism taglines – how can they say so very little and yet sometimes so much? I’ve posted my bemusement with these fascinating little one-liners that marketers use to ‘sell’ or position a destination before (after snapping 44 slogans at the 2009 World Travel Market).

This year, I decided it was time for an update. So here, after wandering the vast length and breadth of WTM 2012, are 105 slogans, 26 country logos (or fonts) and 7 regional taglines collected at the World Travel Market 2012. Slideshow above, text below. I’ve bolded up the ones I like. Enjoy! Continue reading

Music and dance from around the World Travel Market 2012

I only got a short clip of the musicians from India (technical fault caused by human error) but I did manage to get a few more throughout the day. Here’s the list of random acts from WTM 2012:

And here’s one from WTM 2009 with 8000+ views on YouTube:

Mexico, mariachi and massive hats

More WTM 2012 music and dance acts: Music and dance from around the World Travel Market

Israeli hang drum music at WTM 2012

Djembe and hang drum sounding lovely on the Israel stand at the World Travel Market 2012.

More WTM 2012 music and dance acts: Music and dance from around the World Travel Market


Folk music and dance from Kazakhstan

One of the things I like about going to World Travel Market is the number of random acts of music, dance and giant ‘It’s a knockout’ style beasties wandering the inter-continental aisles. Here’s what Kazakhstan had going on…

More WTM 2012 music and dance acts: Music and dance from around the World Travel Market

Where travel and corruption go hand in hand…

Prague and Vienna may not be the first places that spring to mind when you think of corruption but a tour company exhibiting at the 2012 World Travel Market (WTM) is putting them on the map with ‘point the finger’ tourism. Scroll down for tour details and prices.

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Bhutan: Land of Gross National Happiness

Land of Gross National Happiness

After documenting 100+ tourism marketing slogans yesterday at World Travel Market (WTM) 2012, Bhutan’s is my pick of the bunch.

The catchphrase Gross National Happiness, or GNH, was apparently introduced by the King of Bhutan in the 1980s and it stands out as unique among the ‘wonders’ and ‘pearls’ of other positioning taglines. Perhaps it feels more authentic for its lack of marketing schmooze but it also still manages to tell us something: that this Himalayan kingdom takes its happiness seriously.

In fact, further research reveals Bhutan to be the only country to use GNH as both an economic measure, similar to GDP, and a guiding principle for its move towards modernisation.

It suggests a unique and fascinating place. But, yes, it also made me laugh – successfully upping GNH as it worked its sly slogan side-effects.

I’ll be posting the rest of the WTM 2012 country slogans… at some point soon.

South Korea inspires with its Gangnam Style robots #wtm2012

Korean robots at WTM 2012Collecting tourism slogans at the World Travel Market 2012 (WTM) this year to update my 2009 post meant walking the length and breadth of London’s Excel – four hours’ solid legwork. South Korea’s marketing slogan was ‘Be inspired’. For once, this was backed up by action – a small army of robots takings centre stage on the stand.

These guys actually dance Gangnam Style…

Pretty cute. All part of Korea’s love affair with robots –  cf robot teachers and prison guards – and possibly the only country at WTM to position itself through its technology. Is this an interesting differentiator for travellers?

La Gomera after the fire…

… is still very beautiful despite the devastating fires of August 2012. More blogging to come but here are some hopefully surprising shots of La Gomera, one of the more unusual and less-visited Canary Island. They show that La Gomera is still very much open for business. (Click on each pic to pull up the locations. More/better pics from Pete Ashton aare going up by degrees on Flickr.)

San Sebastian housing

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