All Roads Led to the New York International Travel Show

All Roads Led to the New York International Travel Show

By Victoria Falk

The New York International Travel Show occurred at Javits Convention Center, New York City, from October 28 through October 30, 2022. The first day was Trade Day. Representatives from a variety of media outlets, as well as travel professionals, piled into the Javits Center to enjoy Trade Day. There were travel industry conferences, presentations, the exhibition hall, the Taste of the World Theater, and more. The day finished with a Travel Industry Reception with delights from the Chefs at the Taste of the World Theater.

Travel industry experts and leaders participated in panel discussions about what they learned during the pandemic and the future of travel. Panelists agreed that sustainability leads to profitability. Nowadays, travelers want to spend money with travel providers demonstrating their commitment to sustainability. Panelists also discussed the importance of respecting local communities while on vacation and giving opportunities to local vendors.

Several travel professionals attended more than one day of the event. Saturday, October 29, 2022, and Sunday, October 30, 2022, were open to the general public and the travel trade. Bryan Sanders, CEO of Magic Travel Biz, and William Tony Rogers, CEO of Art War Travel, attended more than one day of the event. Bryan Sanders said, “I’m here to soak everything in and get updated travel information so I can continue giving the best experiences to my travel customers.” While Mr. Rogers said, “I’m happy I attended this event. I met with representatives from various parts of Africa and told them about my upcoming group trip to Senegal.” Precious Foster, CEO of P’s Travel Spot with Levarte Travel, stated, “There are 100 reasons to travel, and seeing it with your eyes is immeasurable.” Ms. Lonniece Williams, a travel advisor from Brooklyn, stated, “During the pandemic, my travel business took a big hit. But now I have customers asking for group trips.” While Steve King, another travel advisor from Brooklyn, said he was glad he attended the New York International Travel Show. “This is my first time attending an event like this. I collected information for my travel customers and saw places I’d like to visit,” said Steve King.

Saturday, October 29, and Sunday, October 30, were designated for the general public and travel professionals. There were public seminars, keynote panel discussions, live presentations, food tastings at Taste of the World Theater, exciting cultural performances from the Global Theater and World Theater, and a host of exhibitors representing travel brands from around the world. Ms. Flavia Barbosa, who attended the event with her mom, was proud and honored to represent Brazil through her dance. Flavia performed with Brazilian singers and dancers who excited the audience from the stage and invited them to dance. The Braata folk singers represented Jamaica well, especially with their medley of Bob Marley songs. Ms. Victoria Harper, Development Officer Southwest USA for Jamaica Tourist Board, joined them on stage following their performance. Ms. Harper and members of the audience were waving the Jamaican flag throughout the performance.

There were exhibitors representing Africa, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America & Latin America, and the USA, with a strong focus on New York. There were booths offering travel goods, several major cruise lines, and a booth for the Transportation Security Administration.

Attendees had the opportunity to enroll in TSA Precheck at the event and save money on the regular enrollment fees.

Plus, attendees were there planning their next vacations from the special travel deals offered to expo attendees. Most of the exhibitors came to the expo prepared to give away treats and prizes to attendees. They gave away items ranging from free candy and pens to cell phones and watches by T-Mobile to free travel giveaways, like the eight days/seven nights resort stays given away by Ms. Claudia Arrindell. Ms. Arrindell was at the booth explaining the difference between St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten.

More exhibitors at the expo represented the Caribbean than any other part of the world. Plus, there was a panel discussion on Caribbean travel and tourism updates. Ms. Phylia Shivers, with the Bahamas Tourism Authority, one of the featured exhibitors for the event, wanted travelers to know, “If you think you know all there is to know about the Bahamas, you really don’t know. Because of the popularity of the cruise port in Nassau, Bahamas, many tourists don’t think beyond that area. We want you to return to the Bahamas to explore other parts of the island and see our newer resorts.”

The Jamaica Tourist Board was among the featured exhibitors for the expo. Joining Victoria Harper at the Jamaica Booth were Business Development Officers Northeast USA, Carey Dennis and Kirk Whyte; Francina Mason, Business Development Manager East Coast-USA. They let everyone know why the Palladium brand is a top choice for travelers and the special incentives they have for travel agents, Ilia Tomlinson, General Manager of Chukka Trails & Travel, and Patrick Flemmings of Holiday Inn Resorts, among others. Ms. Tomlinson spoke about her ability to work with large groups in giving them exciting, well-crafted experiences to meet their travel needs. Flemmings was letting visitors know about the free wedding special and other travel deals the resort is offering. There are also exclusive offers for Travel Agents and the ability to become a Holiday Inn Resort Specialist.

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority also had a strong presence at the travel expo. Richard Moss, Senior Sales Manager for Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, explained, “During the pandemic, we kept working on getting the message out about the beauty of Saint Lucia and the fabric of our people. We have a strong digital presence and did live road shows during the pandemic.”

Shana Whyte, U.S. Virgin Islands; Sharon Flax-Brutus, the British Virgin Islands; and Norrell Joseph, Antigua & Barbuda, all reported travel gains for their islands during the pandemic. Ms. Whyte said, “During the pandemic, people who had never heard of us flocked to the Virgin Islands. They had a great time. Now they’re coming back to the Virgin Islands.” Sharon Flax-Brutus, Tourism Experience Curator, described the luxury villas available through Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals & Luxury Holiday Villas in the British Virgin Islands.

“More travelers started asking for villas during the pandemic, so new and cost-effective villas were launched,” said Ms. Brutus. “You can have your concierge, tours, Chef, private pool, and more.”

Norrell Joseph, Sales & Marketing Manager, USA, reported that during the pandemic, the island received a lot of ‘Digital Nomads,’ and many of them decided to stay on the island. The Antigua & Barbuda Travel Specialist program is reportedly helping Travel Agents share why people should visit Antigua & Barbuda.

Were New Yorkers ready to welcome a new travel show to the Javits Convention? The positive reviews may make that answer a “yes.” Save the dates – October 27 – October 29, 2023, for the next New York International Travel Show.

Victoria Falk is the award-winning CEO of Passionate Travel Inc.

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