I have been working in the travel industry since 1982. It never ceases to amaze me how in such a huge industry, the largest in the world, people are so interconnected. This really hit home recently while I was working in Kuwait.
During the reception after this year’s PhoCusWright in Hollywood, my friend and colleague Philip Wolf commented that I was the person he had known the longest at the conference with the exception of one individual. A few weeks later I was back in Kuwait assisting my client and interviewing a candidate for the CFO position. It turned out this candidate was on the board of PhoCusWright and was that other individual Philip mentioned. Talk about a small world.
Tomorrow evening I leave Kuwait for Amsterdam to attend the IFITT’s ENTER 09. I have not attended ENTER since 2002, but I do see some familiar names. When I first attended the ENTER 2002 back in Finland I felt both a feeling that I was with my peers and that I was somewhat a “fish out of water”. The conference is normally attended by academics and government tourism officials. The research from the PHD candidates is always fascinating and the discussions are on topics that are very close to my heart such as mobile travel technology and personalization. This is what makes me feel comfortable. What was a bit unerving back in 2002, was that I just did not know anyone at the conference and I was one of a handful of US attendees. With all the work I have done in Europe, Asia and recently the Middle East, I certainly feel more globally connected. I am looking to learning the latest in travel research and interacting with my peers in Amsterdam this week.