Performers at the Tourism Malaysia booth // (c) 2011 Janeen Christoff
From ziplines and lassos to traditional dancers and exotic delicacies, the Los Angeles Times Travel & Adventure show was, indeed, an adventure. The show, which took place March 19-20 at the Los Angeles Convention Center had a lot to offer in the way of experiences both in prospective travel plans and those available at the event itself. I could have tried out the scuba pool sponsored by Beadiver.com or climbed a rock wall provided by Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite and sponsored by Yosemite Mariposa Tourism and, if those didn’t whet my appetite for adventure, the zipline provided by GoZip and sponsored by the Ecuador Ministry of Tourism was sure to get my heart racing. Not quite my cup of tea, but certainly enticing to many others, was steer roping sponsored by Coyote Ranch, where attendees could try their hand at lassoing.
By just walking the show floor, attendees were exposed to an infusion of culture from Malaysian tea ceremonies to traditional Taiwanese dancing.
I stopped by the South Africa Tourism booth where they were talking up their recent run on “The Bachelor,” which held its season finale episode arc in the country. I also had the opportunity to speak with Karin Jones from Anastasia’s Africa, who told me that her company had seen a spike in tourism, not just to South Africa, but to the whole continent.
After an interview with Jose Vallejo, the director of marketing for the Ecuador Ministry of Tourism, who updated me on the rise of tourism to Ecuador, I wrapped up my time with Tourism Malaysia and learned about the country’s new focus on spa and wellness touring.
Had I stayed longer at the show, I could have heard from great travel speakers such as Arthur Frommer and Samantha Brown or taken a photo workshop sponsored by the L.A. Times. There was so much to do in what felt like so little time.
Maybe the biggest news for the Travel & Adventure Show came once the show had ended with the announcement that there will be big changes in 2012. Next year, consumers will have double the travel adventure as the show splits into two separate entities.
The Travel & Adventure show will move back to Long Beach, Calif. January 14-15, and there will be new sponsors — Los Angeles Magazine and NBCLA.
In a press release, John Golicz, CEO of Unicomm, the Travel & Adventure Shows’ producer, commented on the new partnership.
“Our new and more relevant partnerships allow us to deliver more value to our exhibitors and visitors at the 2012 Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show,” says John Golicz, CEO of Unicomm. “Los Angeles Magazine is a premier source of news and entertainment for Los Angeles and surrounding communities, NBCLA has an unparalleled reach within the marketplace and a deep support of travel and tourism, and Los Angeles Consortium of Online Travel will help us bridge our traditional and social media initiatives.”
The Los Angeles Times will continue to produce its own show in 2012. The Los Angeles Times Travel Show will be back at the Los Angeles Convention Center Jan. 27-29 with a trade day on Jan. 27.