2018 marks the 15th anniversary of The New York Times Travel Show, one of the most important international fairs about tourism and travels in the world, particularly important because it has both an entire section dedicated exclusively to businesses and operators in the travel industry, and a section dedicated to travelers/consumers.

Thus, the Show represents a precious occasion for entrepreneurs and companies to discuss and analyze the trends and statistics of an industry that is one of the most lucrative worldwide, but also fragile, being inherently and inevitably influenced by political and natural events (disasters) which may suddenly occur both on a local and a global scale.

This year’s edition presents many protagonists. Among the many prestigious top-class sponsors who support this project, surely Turkish Airlines stands out with its enormous bright red-ruby stand/installation right in front at the entrance of the Show, but also because offers the chance to visitors to win free tickets to many top destinations.

Evident is the major effort made by Israel, present at this edition both officially, with its Minister of Tourism, and extensively, with displays of its cuisine, its shores, deserts and historic cities.

Wide and spread is also the presence of all major Asian countries, both traditional exotic destinations (Indonesia, Philippines, Maldives) and new trendy hot-spots (Korea, Singapore) besides of course Japan and the not-anymore-surprising China, which at this point has become a regular major international touristic attraction.

The South-Wing of the Javits Center, the gigantic Exhibition Hall where all Major New York indoor events take place (and that is now famous also as the place where Hillary Clinton could not celebrate a victory at the end of the last Presidential election), is packed with colorful stands, each one is in turn stuffed with maps, brochures, books, merchandise, and gadgets.

The variety and diversity of the offers displayed can potentially satisfy any taste and palate, even of the most sophisticated or demanding traveler: Europe, Asia, Latin-America, Africa, and the U.S.A. are the title sections of the Show, along which an Area dedicated to Adventure and another very interesting one dedicated to explorations (Antarctica and Southern Oceans).

During the day the event is jazzed up by stage performances of folk musicians and dancers in colorful traditional clothes, star chefs who have a whole kitchen at their disposal to show the attendees how to prepare their specialties, a dedicated area were visitors can have a one-to-one conversation with experts of the travel industry, and a whole floor reserved for seminars hosted mostly by TV celebrities who star in Travel&Food Shows (Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Food, Samantha Brown from “Great Vacation Homes” and “Great Hotels”, Zac Posen from “project Runaway).

Adventuring myself among the aisles and stands, here and there I regularly bump into some colorful character in traditional dresses from any kind of destination, India, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Ireland, Caucasus, South-Italy, and few more generous exhibitors get to offer some snacks and food samples taken from their street food traditions.

There is a good vibe in the air, and the place is pervaded by positive energy: looking at the screens and posters, and posing my eyes on all the wonderful images of these amazing wonders of the nature, I am reminded that there is actually nothing as travelling if you want to get to know the world and especially yourself. And as the old saying goes: “It is all about the journey, not the destination”.

Well, with all these incitements and sparks now I have to think about my next travels and indulge myself in fantasizing about my next adventure.

I know where to go: first stop at Alaska’s stand and right after to Mexico’s stand to get some tips about visiting the Yucatan peninsula and the pre-Colombian historic sites. Sorry, I gotta go. Ciao.

Story and pictures by Joseph Ralph Fraia

Show Main Entrance

Main Sponsors Stands

Show Credentials

Andrew Zimmers, Bizarre Foods

India Stand

Mexico Stand

Bahamas Stand

Joshua Foer

Indonesia Stand

Brazilian Stage

Santo Domingo

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