Written By: Andy Ogg – Editor for Travel Professional NEWS®
Every once in a while an opportunity finds it’s way right into your backyard. The San Diego Travel and Adventure Show did just that. While driving home from a nice lunch a few weeks ago, an advertisement presented itself over the radio airwaves promoting a Travel and Adventure show right here in San Diego. Being only 45 minutes north of where the trade show was set to take place, I felt compelled to check it out and see what was new with our world of Travel!
Living in San Diego is a dream come true for me and my family. Having grown up here and only recently returning home, a drive down the 5 freeway can turn any bad day around for the better. Views of the Pacific Ocean, aged eucalyptus trees lining the highway and of course, the San Diego skyline, which I think is one of the most captivating cityscapes I have ever seen, is always a blessing on a beautiful Sunday. I enjoyed the drive down to the San Diego Convention center and after some wrong turns, I found the San Diego Travel and Adventure Show.
The show was well organized and easy to navigate with great signage and interactive displays allowing visitors to truly engage in the experience. Booths lined the convention hall with seminars and exhibitions bringing the space to life as I entered through the main entrance. As I made my way down the first aisle of the show, I was pleased to see that this show had a very diverse group of vendors. Destinations ranging from New Zealand to Africa were available with information on how to get there and what you can do there. Tour Operators of all kinds were scattered throughout the show offering visitors a glimpse into what they can do and see while out on their next adventure.
As I made my way around the show, I enjoyed a spectacular show of dancers demonstrating traditional Folk Dances from around the globe. As I turned another corner, San Diego by Segway was offering visitors free Segway test rides through a miniature obstacle course. There was a line of takers already started at the opening of the show. I continued my way through the trade show and got to speak with some great representatives of destination tourism boards who, in case you were wondering, LOVE Travel Professionals! Many of these tourism boards already have training and certification programs in place for agents and those who do not are about to release them.
After some great conversations, I continued to wonder through the halls to find a rock climbing wall and a young boy making it look way to easy to get to the top. The Cruise Planners booth was nearby and packed full of visitors inquiring about their next vacation and where they might go. Working my way through the crowd, I was able to speak with the head of travel industry relations at the tourism board for Fiji who was beyond excited with the level of engagement they have been seeing from their Travel Professional certification program. They offer a comprehensive training course that includes a FAM to Fiji, what an awful place to visit, don’t you think?
The show was a great event for consumer and business relations alike. The layout was simple and effective for communication to occur and unlike many trade shows that I have attended, there was no booth or exhibit blaring music to provide your routine headache. The Travel and Adventure trade show has 7 stops on their year schedule. Starting in San Diego, they now head to Dallas, Texas, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, and finally ending in Philadelphia, PA.
All in all, I would suggest that if you are near one of their upcoming venues to participate. They offer complimentary Travel Agent registration so there is no need for any tickets and you can register directly on their site www.travelshows.com. This is a great show for consumers and agents alike so don’t hesitate to take the whole family for a fun filled day while you further your education to SELL MORE TRAVEL!