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12·NOV·2012

Missing the Alicante Sunshine

Martin and Fernando came across to London last week to attend the annual World Travel Market at ExCeL London. This business-to-business trade event is now in its 33rd year and attracts some 40,000 visitors. WTM is a great opportunity to exchange views on the state of the market and to keep abreast of the latest industry developments. Comunitat Valencia at WTM Although Drivalia is only 2 years old, both Fernando and Martin have been in the car rental industry for more than 12 years apiece and have developed close working relationships with many of the UK and Ireland’s leading tour operators and car brokers. Under the auspices of Comunitat Valencia, the two representatives from Drivalia had back-to-back meetings with many existing, and some potential new, business partners. Anyone who attends a trade show will know what hard work they are but there was time for some relaxation. I caught up with the pair one evening after the show and suggested that Fernando might like to try the delights of traditional British fayre. As a Brit, Martin of course knows what he is missing by living in Spain(!) but Fernando, although by no means a stranger to London, was less au fait. So off we went to The Barrow Boy and Banker at London Bridge. Sportingly they both opted for a local pie: Steak and Kidney for Martin and Steak and Ale for Fernando. While it could be that Fernando was being very polite, he did seem to enjoy the pie. On his next visit I’ll test him by offering a choice, Traditional British or Tapas. I didn’t manage to persuade them to try some proper beer but perhaps next time! After an evening of good conversation and good food it was time to head out into the, by now, cold night air. I think Martin and Fernando had forgotten just what November nights can be like in the UK as they were both wearing little more than their business suits. As for me, I had an overcoat and gloves! I got the distinct impression they could not wait to get on the flight back to the warmth of Alicante - and who could blame them?