The Travel Show 2012

Posted By Brie Austin In Category: Reviews , Travel

With a wide spectrum of travel interests, knowledge, resources and connections, the New York Times Travel Show was the place to be for any would-be tourist or traveler.  Held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City (34th Street at 11th Ave), the show opened on Friday March 2, 2012 to travel industry professionals — with conference sessions, a reception, and five hours to peruse the exhibit hall.

On Saturday and Sunday the doors were then opened to the general public, and there was much to see.

The exhibit hall featured 500 exhibitors representing 150 countries; the Connected Traveler Technology Showcase featured a dozen products and services; and there were a dozen or so scheduled book signings, including authors Patricia Schultz (1,000 Places to See Before You Die), Lea Lane (Solo Traveler: Tales and Tips for Great Trips), and Rolf Potts (Marco Polo Didn’t Go There, and Vagabonding: An uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel).

There was also a temporary book store with interesting travel books, presented by Mobile Libris, an independent bookseller for special events.

Traditional Dance of Malaysia

On the lower level travel-related seminars were conducted throughout the weekend. They included themes such as Outlook for Travel To Cuba, What’s All This Cruising Stuff About?, A Comedy of Travel Errors, Pre-tripping & Planning Using Social Media, and Travel as a Life Changing Experience, to name but a few.

Scattered throughout the exhibit hall were Pavilion Stages that featured traditional dances, foods and insights of different parts of the world; Africa, Asia, Australia and the South Pacific, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Mexico, and the United States, plus the Family Fun Pavilion.  At the cultural stages attendees were treated to culinary travel demonstrations by chefs from the Food Network’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival, and New York Times columnists.

Dominican Republic Dancers

The Global Stage provided free giveaways – like a free safari trip presented by the Tanzania Tourism Board –, and other insightful presentations, such as Discovering America’s Oldest Wine Trails in Ulster County, Maine serving up why it tops the charts for seafood lovers, and “5 Musts for Traveling to Africa,” among them, for example.
I stopped to speak with Kamini Cohly of Delightful Travel Tours about my own pending trip to India this spring. She was not only knowledgeable, but also delightful. She asked questions about where I was going, and why, and then made suggestions about places I should visit and things I should see along the way. And because my flight itinerary would include a short stay in Morocco, I spoke with Steven Gerwood, nephew of the owner (Sandra Fries) of Morocco Why Not Travel and Tours. He was able to provide insight about “old world” vs. “new” Morocco. And he also informed me that his country was the first to recognize America as a sovereign state after the American Revolution.  You never know what you’ll learn when traveling – even if it’s traveling an exhibit hall in New York City.

Regardless of whether you were a travel industry professional looking to expand your knowledge and direct contacts, a once–a-year-tourist, or a vagabonder, the New York Times Travel Show had something for everyone.  For more info about the show you missed, or to plan attending next year, visit their site at http://www.nyttravelshow.com

Also, check out Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

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About Brie Austin

Co-author of I'd Do It Again, he is a columnist/reporter for a variety of magazines in the areas of music, lifestyle, nightlife, travel and business. He also writes business documents and creates copy for websites.

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