This weekend I attended the 2018 New York Times Travel Show. The NY Times Travel Conference offers education seminars and networking opportunities for travel professionals. Attendees had the opportunity to attend over 23 seminars covering the latest products, services, destination and trends from industry experts.
New York, NY – January 21st, 2018: New York Times Travel Show
As a travel professional myself, I decided to attend the NY Times travel show this year to network with other travel professional and learn about the latest destination trends. What an experience it was!
The show met my expectations, especially the Travel Media seminars and Panel Discussions which were engaging and offered new content that proved very helpful for those working in travel marketing.
The event started on Friday morning with a packed schedule of seminars. I managed to attend three different seminars on Friday: Travel Media Panel Discussion, Brazil Press announcement, and LGBT destination trends Panel Discussion.
Friday afternoon I visited the exhibition hall with destination representatives from countries like Mexico, Brazil, Japan and India.I met with folks from all over the world. It was such a pleasure to discuss ideas of what many of these professionals are doing in their home country.
New York Times Travel Show Exhibit Booths
The Travel Media Panel discussion was the most appealing of all the session I attended. The biggest takeaway for me was to learn the impact travel influencers are having for brands to reach a wider audience. Travel influencers are folks that travel throughout the world showcasing their travel adventures and experiences to their followers through videos and photos.
The seminar featured renown travel bloggers couple Lina and David Stock and Hannah and Adam Lukaszewics . It was moderated by Janicke Hansen from Professional Travel Bloggers Association. The two-adventurous couple who travel around the world creating content and photos for their audience shared with us some of their experiences and ideas. They also use drones to capture many of their destination videos that are then shared on their many platforms.
Another takeaway from this session were the tips provided by the experts on how travel brands can maximize their influencer dollars by selecting to work with influencers that would benefit their brand. Part of the reason why influencer marketing has become so successful in recent years is the ability to humanize the brand. Influencers have the ability to change travel perceptions and behaviors. They also connect with their followers and can inspire dreams and evoke memories.
Later, I attended the Brazil Press announcement session. I was surprised to learn Brazil is now offering a better and expedited option for Americans, Canadians, and other nationals to request E-visas visas through their website. The new system promises a quick visa turnaround and will cost $40.
Previously, Americans had to apply for a Brazil travel visa at the consulates and the process took much longer. If necessary, applicants may still continue to apply for a visa through the Brazilian consulates for those that require longer visa options.
Have you booked your Brazil trip to Rio De Janiero yet?
Another great and informative session was the L.G.B.T panel discussion hosted by Out Adventure Co-Founder Robert Sharp, and Rick Stiffler, Vice President of Leisure’s Sales at Preferred Hotels and Resorts. Topics discussed included destination trends for this niche. Both panelists provided useful tips for travel brands who wish to market their travel services to the L.G.B.T community. Colombia, Costa Rica and a few countries in Africa are doing well at attracting LGBT travelers and many hotels are jumping the bandwagon to appeal to the LGBT community.
If you are a hotel or travel vendor looking to reach the L.G.B.T community, visit the IGLTA site to learn about the steps involved.
The rest of my time on Friday and Saturday were spent on the New York Times Travel Show floor. It was so much fun interacting with destination reps and sampling local cuisine at the India booth plus drinking Caipirinhas at the Brazil booth!
I found great value personally in attending the travel exhibition and sessions and hope to return next year!
Jimmy Mckenzie is the founder of Paradise Digital Agency. With over 5 years in implementing Digital and SEO strategies for small and large businesses, I have mastered the latest SEO and digital strategies that result in improved online branding and search rankings.