In mid-January Malcolm Bell and Mark Camp represented Visit Cornwall at the vast Vakantiebeurs Travel Show in Utrecht, Holland. Spread over nine aircraft hanger like halls, Visit Cornwall worked closely with Visit Devon to promote the south west, in a corner of the Great Britain section.
The first day, Tuesday, was specifically aimed at trade members with various tour operators and bloggers bending our ears for information and PR chances. The next five days were a continuous onslaught of Dutch tourists, many wanting to know where the best campsites were, how far Cornwall was from Dover, and could they see Cornwall, Wales and Ireland all in the same week.
Another popular question was “do you have palm trees in Cornwall?” whilst one lady wanted to know how she could get permission to scatter her husband’s ashes at St Just in Roseland Church. The oddest, a couple wanted to know where was the best place in Cornwall to see hippies!
Boxes and boxes of guides were handed out, including several thousand Dutch language ones. Maps were given out and smiles and handshakes exchanged. Malcolm and Mark came away from Utrecht with the feeling that the Dutch love Cornwall, and those that don’t already, will soon.