Where else can you enjoy a relaxing massage, watch an
aboriginal dance troupe, catch some taekwondo moves or sip a cup
of the finest Ceylon tea, other than in the Asia section of World
Tramping around ExCeL all day can be exhausting, but those who
are flagging will find plenty of opportunities for R&R as
exhibitors lay on some of that legendary Asian hospitality.
We’ve picked out some of the highlights you won’t want
1pm: for a chance to star in a training video to be made
on location in a tropical paradise, go to the Thailand stand for a
screen test on Thursday November 11. Six agents will be flown to
Thailand next February, where they will film their experiences in
up-and-coming destinations Trang, Ko Yao, Ko Racha and Ko Chang,
for use in the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s future agency
1.30pm: you can’t attend WTM without seeing at least
one cultural performance, so go and watch the Sri Lankan
traditional dance troupe perform on Centre Stage. They’ll be
there on Wednesday November 10 in the afternoon and again the
following day from 10.30am until 11am.
2pm: loiter around the Korea stand in the afternoon and
you’ll stand a good chance of seeing a taekwondo
demonstration, as there will be displays of this martial art every
day. If you arrive a bit early, take the opportunity to meet the
Korea National Tourism Organisation’s new London director
Sang Hoon Na.
3pm: if you thought there was only one kind of sake (the
type that blows your head off), you’re in for a surprise. A
range of sakes will be available to try on the Japan stand on
Monday November 8, where expert sommeliers will be on hand. If you
miss this, you might get a chance to see the dancing by maiko
(trainee geisha girls), who are being flown over to London. As
it’s rare for maiko or geisha to leave Japan, this could be a
unique opportunity to see them in action. They will be performing
at 1pm and 3pm on Wednesday November 10, and at 11am and 1pm on
Thursday November 11.
3.15pm: after walking round ExCeL all day you’ll be
feeling pretty tense, so drop by the Sri Lanka stand for a
traditional Ayurvedic head massage. A therapist will be working her
magic on the stand all day every day – but be prepared to
queue. While you’re waiting, join the daily tea ceremony and
watch a carver create traditional Ceylon wooden masks. Don’t
forget to enter the competition to win a holiday for two in Sri
3.30pm: worn out the soles of your shoes pacing up and
down the halls? Stop off at the Malaysia stand and meet the king of
kitten heels himself, Malaysian Jimmy Choo, who will be posing for
pictures as part of Tourism Malaysia’s promotion as one of
Asia’s fashion capitals. The tourist board was unable to
confirm what time he will appear when Travel Weekly went to press,
but if you spot a queue of slack-jawed women near the Malaysia
stand, you’ll know the Shoe God has arrived.
4pm: visit the India stand where food, beer and wine will
be served all afternoon. While there, muse over the cost of an
organ transplant or facelift from one of the clinics exhibiting as
part of India’s bid to capture a slice of the health tourism
market. You can also meet India’s tourism minister Renuka
4.30pm: keen to show off its diverse culture, the
Philippines stand will be hosting a fashion show every afternoon.
Models wearing traditional regional costumes will be sashaying
around to the sounds of a traditional Philippine band.
There’s also a chance to meet the country’s new tourism
secretary Joseph Durano.