We Took A Stroll Around New York Times Travel Show and Took a Step Back in Time


Skift Take

The New York Times Travel Show: Cruises, Caribbean destinations and Florida rule, offbeat here is a country called Africa.

— Rafat Ali

Every year, the New York Times Travel Show lands at that epitome of old-school conventions: New York City’s Javits Center.

It comes the annual opportunity for the rest of us to make fun of it: Some legitimate, some because we’re travel snobs.

This is what I wrote earlier in January on my Facebook wall, after seeing yet another lineup of the same old faces at the show, year-in, year-out. The same peddlers of mainstream travel advice, never mind to whom they’re giving the advice. Never mind that the demographic reality of America is a lot different now than when these experts first started giving out their advice.

The reality is this is the consumer travel show for a mainstream that the organizers think America still has. And this “mainstream” shows up. At a session by Peter Greenberg (funny talk, but the same talk could be given any year, and actually is!), he asked how many in the room had been on a cruise. In the audience of about 500 or so, more than 80 percent of the hands went up, when only about 3.5 percent of Americans take a cruise yearly, according to CLIA.

But it works for the organizers, every year the audience trickles in and this is among the few chances tourism boards have on a national level to showcase their destinations in a face-to-face environment. Cruises, Caribbean destinations and Florida rule. Offbeat here is a country called Africa.

As I took a stroll down the aisle at the show and tweeted parts of it (tweets below), it is clear this is the last refuge of those who are unprepared for a multicultural America.

Tags: tourism
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