I attended my 1st Travel Show - Philadelphia Travel Show
I have never attended a travel show and never really had any reason to do so since I do most of my travel research online and most of my trips in the past years have been planned around LL auctions that I have won.
The Philadelphia Inquirer sent me 2 free tickets, so the hubby & I decided to go and she who, what, and where was represented.
They did have some interesting speakers:
Arthur Frommer at 82 is still going strong - he spoke on when to splurge and when to scrimp on vacations, get out of your vacation rut and try some new and interesting destinations.
Andrew McCarthy has morphed from actor to travel writer and spoke on The Transformative Power of Travel
Grannies on Safari spoke about their Trans-Siberian railroad adventures
Christopher Elliott "the Travel Troubleshooter" spoke on how to get the best travel deals and how not be scammed.
Andrew Evans - the Digital Nomad, spoke on his journey to 7 continents while on assignment for National Geo Traveller.
The Traveling Professor spoke on Peru & Machu Picchu - he does some interesting trips - travelingprofessor.com
Peggy Goldman of Friendly Planet Travel spoke on her top 10 affordable destinations for 2012 - lots of Latin American destinations made her list and she has some interesting trips. Friendlyplanet.com - they were giving away a great trip to Ecuador!
Many other speakers on specific destinations - China, Israel, Italy, etc.
Most of the booths were manned by the typical destination places that most Americans seem to want to travel to - big cruise lines like Disney, Celebrity, Norwegian, Princess and tour operators like Apple Vacations, Breezes and Sandals - wake up American and get out of your travel rut!!!
Caribbean destinations were represented by Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Aruba, Antigua, Anguilla.
The Mexican Tourism booth was pretty good with information on many areas of Mexico other than Cancun - nice to see this. However, not many folks were visiting their booth and I spent some time chatting with the reps and they mentioned that the negative US press has been keeping tourism to Mexico way down -this is a shame!
One of the big sponsors that I was suprised to see was the South African Tourism Ministry and SA air - giving away a great trip to S Africa which I of course entered! Not many visitors to their booth either.
The Israel Ministry of Tourism had some good and informative literature.
The Africa Travel Association had some really great deals to places in West Africa like Senegal - very good prices that included airfare from NYC or Washington DC.
One big suprise was to see a booth for Himalaya Holiday Services - this put Bhutan on my radar! Not a tour operator I would have ever expected to see in Philadelphia
All in all, we had a pretty good time and got some good information on some more exotic destinations that most Philadelphians would probably never consider.
It would have been nice to see a LL booth! We were talking to the St. Lucia folks that were representing Anse Chastenet and Jade Mountain and I mentioned that I have seen these destinations on LL and they said LL does some good business for them!
Maybe next year, The Philadelphia Travel Show will be more expansive and have more destinations in Latin America and Africa and Asia represented.
I forgot to add that Arthur Frommer mentioned someone lesser know web sites for airfare: