On a cold, crisp New York weekend, consumers streamed in to the New York Times Travel Show with visions of tropical beach vacations and exotic cruises. Celebrating their 10th anniversary, this annual event, held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, showcased more than 500 travel destinations from all over the world.
It offered seminars on travel and media, cooking classes, books signings and music and dance performances. Malaysian women in traditional dress with elaborate gold headpieces offered local delicacies while steel drums echoed across the exhibition space playing Jamaican rhythms. It was loud, it was crowded, it was festive—with consumers strolling by exhibitors, gathering brochures, talking with tourist boards and tour operators, dreaming of their next vacation. And, on the Pavilion Stage, Panama’s Ballet Arte Folklorico drew enthusiastic crowds as the nearby Latin American booths were busy showcasing their countries to potential visitors.
The Panama Tourism Authority’s Octavio Abad, International Events coordinator, told Travel World News that “the buzz is out there” promoting Panama. Their colorful exhibit promoting a jungle and beach destination was busy with activity. Tourism Authority representatives informed consumers of Panama’s attractiveness to American travelers: using the US dollar, not requiring a visa and offering direct flights on Copa Airlines from NY and Washington, DC. Perhaps most intriguing was how every traveler to Panama is covered by the country’s medical insurance for 30 days.
Morgan’s Rock, a nearby exhibitor, is a hacienda and eco-lodge in the mountains of Nicaragua. It’s 15 upscale bungalows sit on four thousand acres. Irene Edwards, head of Morgan’s Rock PR and Marketing, was approached by a couple who had honeymooned there a few years ago. “Amazing! Beautiful!” the young couple exclaimed rather loudly as others inched in closer to hear about the resort.
A 25 minute flight from Managua, the resort is close to local markets and villages and welcomes families and couples.
The Costa Rica Tourist Board and Costa Rica Experts also attracted a very large crowd. Amy Bonanata from Costa Rica Experts in Chicago told Travel World News that there was lots of interest in the destination especially with their show special, a 10% off card for bookings until August 2013. Promoting Costa Rica as having everything—rainforest, jungles, cloud forests, volcanoes and beaches, makes it an easy sell, according to Bonanata.
Adventures Within Reach, CT Charters, Ministry of Tourism of Uruguay, Nicaraguan Tourism Board, Quark Expeditions, International Expeditions, Treks and Trails International, U-Wrap and Yampu Tours; all offered tours to Latin America and were exhibitors in the show.
New York Times Travel Show, www.nyttravelshow.com