January in New York is tough, its always cold and depending on your timing, you may have a winter storm which just makes things more exciting. Of course this January came through with flying colors.
But its the time of year when the New York Times Travel Show occurs at the Jacob Javitts Center. That does not dampen spirits at all as there are over 200 potential partners under one roof for you to sample. Plus there are travel sessions abound that will increase your knowledge of our industry.
Heavy hitters in the industry attend this show including, JohnnyJet, Paula Froelich from Yahoo Travel, Arthur Frommer and his daughter Pauline Frommer, Lee Abbamonte, Peter Greenberg and a host of other travel bloggers. So its a treasure trove. I hope its on your list for next year.
My best part of this show is the Caribbean Round Table, where the partners from different countries come to your table and educate you on their countries. It’s like visiting the Caribbean in 45 minutes. Nothing I’ve done beats this experience. I had representatives from St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands to name a few.
Africa, Asia, The Caribbean, Europe, North America, South America, I think the entire world had a representation. It’s not as big as say World Travel Market in London or even ITB Berlin, but it packs its own punch.
I came away with quite a bit of knowledge as well and can now act as a resource for you in more areas.
For 2015, river cruising seems to be the biggest item; this was big in 2014, but is getting bigger. I even sat in on a session with LeBoat from Europe who allows you to rent a boat and go boating down some local rivers. A very neat and pretty inexpensive concept based on what you are getting; really good value for your money.
Normal cruises are not to be left out as well. Cruise lines such as Carnival, Celebrity, MSC and Windstar were all represented.
Most of the Caribbean islands were represented with their usual fare of surf, sand and sunshine. Which based on the northeast weather is very much needed.
Of course Cuba was talked about a lot. But if you’re from the U.S., you can’t go just yet. Hang in there. I actually made a good contact so I’ll give you more information as I know more.
It was good to see Atlantic City there again with their DO AC campaign. They’ve taken quite a beating since Katrina, but they keep on going. I even got a chance to meet Miss America 2015, Kira Kazantsev, who is actually Miss New York, so she was happy to be back in her home state.
They really want people to know that despite the bad news, Atlantic City is still open and things are well. They have a number of acts performing as well as casino renovations continuing and some commercial and residential improvements coming online. Even Gordon Ramsay is opening a new restaurant at Caesars this year. So things are looking up.
Perhaps the best find was a number of airlines that serve the New York area making a showing; such as Air Berlin, Air Malta, China Airlines, China Southern, Etihad (got to walk The Residence again) and Turkish Airlines. It was great to talk with them and get to understand their goals. Did a few Instagrams and tweets as well.
There were a few bloggers giving presentations as well:
- Michael Hodson on working with bloggers. He later asked Veronica from Gypsy Nesters (who is getting ready to publish their first book) and Stephen from Walks of New York/Italy/Turkey to join and answer questions.
- Adrien Glover, deputy digital editor, Travel+Leisure; Johnny Jet, from JohnnyJet.com and Paula Froelich, editor in chief, Yahoo Travel did a panel on the power of influence.
- Karen Christensen, Regina Fraser, Pat Johnson, Kate McCulley and Ed Salvato talking on travel safety
- Christine Maxfield, Kelly Lewis, Sherry Ott, Matt Stabile and Caroline Trefler talking about solo travel
- Lee Abbamonte on using social media when traveling,
- Nomadic Matt on budget travel and
- Lauren Matison, Paul Brady, David Farley, Megan McDonough and Brendan Spiegel on the topic of NY Weekend Getaways.
The topics were quite varied and the audience loved the information.
It was also good to see fellow travel bloggers and catch up as well. This is always a good thing. Had a chance to catch up with Harvey, Annita, Matt, Johnny Jet, Matt, Turner and vlogger Brian to name a few.
So if you’re in the neighborhood next year, plan on attending. The networking was fantastic and the learning was indeed worth braving the elements for the three days.