In this special edition of Spotlight, we come to you from the World Travel Market in London. We're joining thousands of people from the travel and tourism sectors who are promoting all sorts of holiday destinations - ranging from capital cities to exotic islands.
The authentic Seychelles experience
The Seychelles doesn’t struggle to turn heads at WTM. This exotic destination, nestled in the western Indian Ocean, boasts 115 islands, offering crystal clear waters, white sands and lots of relaxation.
It's the ultimate getaway for many.
“When they visit, people want to feel special, they want to get beneath the skin of the destination, they want to learn what the country is all about and this is why for us, we don’t only have five-star properties, we have home-grown properties in the Seychelles, which offers exactly that – the authentic Seychelles experience," says Sherin Francis, Chief Executive Officer, Seychelles Tourism Board.
"You get to live very close to a family, in a self-catering or a guest house, where you get to learn what Seychelles life is all about. Learn to eat a fish that is freshly grilled on a barbeque and little things like that, that perhaps in a bigger, grander resort you wouldn’t experience.”
Health and wellbeing in the Philippines
The Philippines is another island nation looking to attract even more international travellers.
It’s a country with a rich history, and a fusion of Asian, European and American influences.
"We have the farms where you can experience weight loss. If you’re a vegan, then you can have it there. But then, at the same time, we have some resorts that would combine wellness with diving," says Roberto P. Alabado III, Assistant Secretary, Tourism Development Philippines.
"Diving right now is one of the main products of the Philippines and we would like to offer you some of the best dive spots in the world. It depends on what kind of diving you want. If you want free-diving, scuba-diving, if you want to explore wrecks, if you want to see sharks, whale sharks, name it, we have it there in the Philippines.”
Go off the beaten track in Japan
Japan also has lots to offer when it comes to wellness. It’s encouraging tourists to go off the beaten track, to explore the country’s natural landscapes and to immerse themselves in culture and tradition.
“Obviously, you can still experience the geisha and those authentic Japanese things like the samurai. But things like skiing are a really big market for us. A lot of people don’t know that Japan has the most ski resorts in any country in the world. Seventy per cent mountains in the country, which I think is phenomenal," says Matthew Joslin, Marketing and Communications Manager, Japan National Tourism Organisation.
"Things like scuba diving as well as lots of outdoor sports and I think the wellness community is really well primed for Japan travel, in things like meditation, meditating with monks in the mountains, temple stays. Those kinds of more relaxing, mindfulness elements of Japan. Forest bathing as well.”
Adventures in Montenegro
Montenegro is a country proud of its natural beauty too. Something that’s bringing more and more visitors to this relatively new destination.
Here you’ll find stunning mountain and coastal scenery, with lots of adventures and sports waiting to be enjoyed.
“It’s a country of life and history, so this is what it is. A country of beauty, unprecedented beauty I would say. The only fjord in the Mediterranean, the second deepest canyon in the world is in Montenegro. So, there’s plenty of things you need to come and see. The beautiful beaches, the beautiful rivers and plenty of ways to spend your vacation. Do you want a yacht, do you want to sail, do you want to swim, do you want to go hiking, do you want to ski. You can do pretty much anything in a very small space,” says Pavle Radulovic, Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Montenegro.
There are so many places out there to be explored and the World Travel Market in London gives us just a taste of the experiences waiting to be discovered.