For Leader, the story began on a cool November morning when Mark Norris of Profile and I travelled across London to the Docklands for World Travel Mart 2012.
ExCel London is a huge hangar of an exhibition and convention centre, and we arrived just in time to see Fiona Jeffery OBE, Chairman of WTM
, launch the event's latest industry report.
Talk was about emerging tourism economies, a rehabilitated Libya, and the impact of London 2012.
Press conference over, Mark
and I were picking our way through the maze of elaborate exhibition stands when there at the very front of the Asia/Pacific region looms a giant billboard of a footballer leaping out of an aquamarine sea, in mid-scissor-kick.
Back at World Travel Mart
and I were introduced to three visiting Filipino congressmen before I caught sight of Peps Villanueva, my old Saatchi & Saatchi colleague or, as the faux rebel Peps might prefer, 'comrade' (kidding!).
Peps, who runs his
own travel agency in London, Optima Travel, is one of the most generous Filipinos I know in London.
is also, arguably, one of the best connected.
I tell him that Leader
would love to do a piece on the Philippines' new global tourism campaign, particularly as the country seems to be on the rise in every which way.
After the merest pause, he
says to hold on, because our old Saatchi & Saatchi colleague, Mon Jimenez, is just about to arrive.