When you have decided that travel is an integral part of your life, it’s the natural order of things to do all that you can to learn your craft from people who know a whole lot more than you do. So, when I’d heard that a new travel show was coming to Atlanta, I had to check it out.
This type of show is primarily aimed at travel agents who want to learn more about different destinations that they may consider promoting for their clients’ future travel plans. However, as a travel blogger, I felt it was necessary to stay on top of what’s shiny and new in the world of travel and pay them a visit as well. Rest assured that these shows are open to the public at large so there is a lot of great information here for people who are planning class reunions, family vacations or honeymoons to peruse.
The Atlanta Travel & Adventure Show was exhibiting at the Cobb Galleria on October 22 & 23 for the first time, so my daughter and I made sure that we would be in attendance. The parking was free and the entry fee was $15.00 at the door, but we scored a pre-show discount online of $8.00.
There are so many choices out there that it can get confusing as to where to go next. Shows like these will allow you to get a good overview of said destinations from live human beings, they will also provide you with information, brochures, discount coupons, freebies and contact info should you want more detailed info later. It’s a good way to get all of those random questions answered by people representing those destinations all under one roof.
There were literally hundreds of travel associations, Tourism Boards, City CVBs, Resorts, Tour Companies, Countries, Travel themed magazines, hotels, state parks and conference centers in attendance, so don’t be shy to approach every booth that you are interested in with any question that you can possibly conceive of. This is your recognizance mission…get all of the data that you can while you are there.
I had a wonderful conversation with a rep from Tourism Ireland representing tours of Ireland. They were all too happy to share the various tours that they offered, tour pricing and they provided lots of reading material for me to take home in a lovely green bag stamped prominently with “Ireland”.
I would have to say that the show was quite well-rounded. There were seminars with guest speakers who are giants in the travel profession. I had the pleasure of attending a presentation on Traveling Smarter: When to Splurge & When to Scrimp given by Pauline Frommer.
The daughter of Travel Guidebook legend, Arthur Frommer, Pauline is the creator of the very popular Pauline Frommer Guidebooks. She gave helpful tips on what’s worth blowing the bank on and what’s not while traveling.
The second presentation was given by the very vivacious Samantha Brown whose first comment was the first question that people ask her is how she got her job….and rightfully so! I would kill to have Ms. Brown’s job as I am one of her avid fans and would to travel all over the globe on someone else’s dime.
She was the host of the Travel Channel’s wildly successful “Passport” series. Sam travels 200 days out of the year with her husband. She was an energetic and enigmatic speaker and a strong cheerleader when it came to encouraging others to pursue their travel dreams. She’s my hero.
Some of the fun, hands-on activities to participate in were:
* Climbing the rock wall
* Zip-lining from one end of the hall to the other
* Learning how to scuba dive in a heated pool on set
* Sample the assortment of international cuisine dishes prepared on site
* Photo ops with Bubba the Alligator courtesy of the Louisiana CVB
* Free Segway riding lessons
* Trying your hand at a game of bazooka ball
There were many opportunities to sign up for chances to win trips, booth giveaways, get travel discounts and door prizes. I think the highlights were the entertainment on the Global Beats Stage from acts as diverse as belly and Bollywood dancers to Contemporary Jazz, Hip Hop and Afro-Caribbean singing to Storytelling with Drums, there was something of interest for every attendee and lots of knowledge to spread around to those who share a love of global travel and the people who make each destination so special and divine.