Destinations

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

@rafat

Mar 03, 2014 9:20 am

Skift Take

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

— Rafat Ali

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Photo by Rafat Ali

The New York TImes Travel Show 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City Photo by 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.

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