By Sarah Holmes-Siedle
Where has the start of the year gone!? To me it feels like it has progressed very quickly from Christmas, to New Year, to Destinations. I do not know how, but all of a sudden I found myself at London Olympia donning my hi-vis jacket and filling my stand with brochures and maps.
This was my first proper chance to get out and speak to the general public about our great destinations. I was joined by Jenni and Lisa to make the #KBCDreamTeam. We were looking forward to all of the weird and wonderful questions heading our way about Utah, New England and the Rocky Mountain International states of Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
What a spectacle the show was. A life-like gorilla wandered the walkways and lounged on benches (I was very impressed at how bendy the person inside was!); there was a full-size RV with gorgeous images of Arches National Park on the back, which people could climb inside (many took pleasure in beeping the horn making us jump out of our skin); and my favourite, a mountain dog the size of a bear repping one of the European alpine resorts.
Throughout the show it was great fun to hear about everyone’s adventures across the US, with many just popping over to declare “been there, loved it”! But what struck me was the interest in delving right into the nitty-gritty of each area. We showed everyone some amazing photographs, before pointing out each place on a map. For Utah, by highlighting Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Denver it gave people a perspective on how to get there, and we could then build suggested routes based on their travel plans and preferences. Some people even came back to the stand, with the map we highlighted the previous year, and told us of their incredible journeys based on what they learnt at the last show.
Some visitors had already booked their trip while others were in the early planning stages. But either way it was lovely to be able to help them. It also made me a tad jealous of the fun I knew they would have. We all really enjoyed the show, reminiscing about past trips and fantasising about the new, undiscovered ideas for the next. I look forward to Destinations 2018 and hearing about the exciting adventures being taken this year. This will no doubt whizz around again at the speed of light!