Houston Travel Marketing Services (HTMS), owned by Derek Houston, recently celebrated 30 years of providing marketing support services to the tourism industry.
Houston started the company to sell advertising space for The GSA Magazine and also offered a fax and brochure posting service (emailing was still a long way off). Later HTMS ran the ABC Travel Guides and OAG subscription service to the trade throughout Africa.
Houston started with exhibitions in 1988, initially being involved in The Great Safari Show at the Sandton Sun, later with World Holiday and Travel Fair together with Carol Weaving. In June 1995 Reed Travel Exhibitions approached HTMS to represent them in Sub Sahara Africa. Initially, only for two exhibitions – World Travel Market, London and Arabian Travel Market, Dubai. HTMS now sells stand space at 10 RTE events worldwide.
In 2000 Houston started Spotlight on Africa Workshops programme in South Africa. The programme has grown to other parts of Africa as well as Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. In 2014 Spotlight will be held in 20 different cities with an expected attendance of more than 1300 travel trade.
HTMS’s email broadcasting service currently reaches 9400 Consultants in 25 Sub Sahara African countries.
Houston is well-travelled. In his 49 years in the travel industry he has visited 97 countries (some of them more than 40 times).