I recently spent two hours at the New York Times Travel Show hosted at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan and it was a fascinating blast. Unfortunately, I didn’t have as much time as I had wanted to explore but I look forward to returning next year to discover more.
The first thing to note about this experience is that it was the first time I had earned a free press pass due to this blog. I first heard about the travel show in October and thought that I might be able to weasel my way in – it turned out I was correct! By just providing the details of this blog I was given a free entrance and a location to host interviews (of which I had none) and some free coffee, tea, and a place to keep my coat.
The event itself is quite an incredible undertaking. There are hundreds of exhibitors from around the world advertising their destinations (Visit Florida! Experience Indonesia!), trying to offer travel services (I saw an award travel booking service I hadn’t heard of called AwardMagic), and just generally trying to promote the idea of leaving New York City and seeing the world. South African Airways was a Gold-level sponsor so I had a chance to sit down with some people from chambers of commerce, tourist bureaus, and even SAA itself to talk about a potential trip in the future. It was really cool!
People go to these travel shows for a variety of reasons. While I was there it seemed like some folks wanted to learn about potential places to visit; others wanted to book particular trips; and still others wanted to learn about travel hacks and other deals. There were so many classes you could attend (I didn’t have time for any) to learn about everything and anything related to travel. I highly recommend going back (I will probably do so and bring my wife next time!).