This week more than 50,000 people from 186 countries are meeting up with staff from almost 5000 organisations at London’s Excel Centre. World Travel Market is the leading global event for the travel industry, now celebrating 35 years in business.
Giving a keynote speech at the start of the global gathering, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, spoke of the importance of regional tourism in the UK.
In my view, however, the most significant part of his speech was his coupling of the Olympics and the Paralympics. These are two sides of the same great sporting coin.
“Global tourism creates global citizens” said Mr Javid during his speech. Those who participate in, attend or watch ‘the Games’ are all global citizens.
Travel industry specialists should remember that disabled people are an indispensable part of the same great tourism coin as others.
It might be hard to picture it today, but a little over two years ago this building was welcoming the world to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It hosted all kinds of sports – table tennis, fencing, wrestling… I actually came here myself to watch taekwondo!