The largest and longest-running trade and consumer travel show in North America kicked off with Trade Day last Friday. The 2019 New York Times Travel Show celebrated its 16th anniversary at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan from January 25th to 27th . Tens of thousands more travelers attended the showcase compare with last year. The good news for return attendees is that 35 percent of this year's exhibitors were new to the show.
Exhibitions showcasing Asian tourist and cultural attractions became the highlight. Demonstrations of Tai Ji-practicing, calligraphy-writing, Kung Fu martial art and drumming also ran through the three-day event, which have allured visitors to join and experience the essence of traditional Asian culture.
Meanwhile, thousands of brochures containing recommended traveling routes and sites in Asia were handed out to potential tourists, emphasizing everything from trendy neighborhoods to essential landmarks and unexpected locales. The Taiwan exhibition organizer also teamed up with prominent local travel agencies and several airlines to design specific tourism products catering to American tastes.
Organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, the China exhibition surrounded by lunar new year decoration has caught the eyes of thousands of visitors with distinctive Chinese cultural elements familiar to local Americans, such as leaflets of pandas, huge poster of pandas and….a Panda mascot
China National Tourist Office at New York aimed to demonstrate China's charm through both its breathtaking landscape and culture, making tourism an important booster of bilateral exchanges between China and the United States amid the looming trade war.
The Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau showcased the current "Old meets New" campaign, which highlights how visitors can take a deep dive into the city's fascinating duality – uncovering enchanting and deep-seated customs while also taking pleasure in a state-of-the-art way of life.
Korean representatives were on hand to further discuss the many highlights of traveling: visiting legendary temples, dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, staying at the finest hotels, taking advantage of world class transport resources, and indulging in a K-Pop experience that can't be replicated anywhere else.
The LGBTQ Travel Pavilion was at the top of many must lists. This year’s pavilion doubled the size of last year’s debut and featured 15 exhibitors specifically presenting LGBTQ-friendly brands from destinations and tour groups to travel insurance and magazines. The booths showcased some of the latest trends in LGBTQ-centric tourism. Exhibitors in the pavilion included ManAboutWorld, Out in the Vineyard, Oscar Wilde Tours, Shady Ladies Tours, R Family Vacations, Quiiky-Gay Tours in Italy, Outings & Adventures, Insider Voyagers and the Stonewall National Monument.
Reserved exclusively for travel industry professionals and members of the media on the first day, highlights include expert seminars informing attendees about the latest industry services and consumer trends. Among the trending topics of conversation were working with social media influencers and exploring digital trends. Although the official numbers are still being tabulated for 2019, the show’s attendance could likely beat numbers set in a record-breaking 2018.
A show survey from 2017 revealed that consumers in attendance said they planned to spend more than $100 million in travel within a year of attending the program. However, travel shows aren’t just for suppliers and consumers anymore. Travel advisors are forging connections and reaping the rewards the exposure has given them. Whether partnering with fellow agents or preferred suppliers to offset the cost, travel advisors have identified where they can add their own value by participating the show.