10/10/09

Adventures In Travel Expo 2009

Getting another mighty push for the itchy feet happened to me at this weekend's Adventures In Travel Expo in New York (October 10-11). In what has been my ritual this past few years, I go to these events hoping to find destinations worthy of my tourist dollar. Booth after booth representing travel ideas became a mini-round-the-world trip as I spend the entire one afternoon at the cavernous Jacob Javits Center. Thanks to an email from National Geographic Adventure, the $15 entrance fee was waived.

Right after the entrance, GAP Adventures - one of the travel outfitters I've previously traveled with - handed out enormous tote bags, just what I needed knowing this will be filled with brochures, books, pens, business cards and more brochures than I can manage to read. Of all the exhibitors though, nothing really gave me more pride than seeing the Philippine booth. With the support of the Philippine Department of Tourism, they managed to secure a very visible spot all on its own. While the Philippine participation earlier this year was geared towards wellness, this time it's more about activities for the adrenaline-junkies in the archipelago.

And what's an Adventures Expo without the adventure right within the venue? There were three free activities at least worth trying: zip-lining, rock wall climbing and introductory scuba diving. It amazes me to see kids as young as 5 years old climbing up the rope ladder to the launch point where they go back down via zip-line. As expected, this activity became a hit among visitors as we all line up to sign our lives away. I skipped the climbing and scuba-diving as I was running out of time and there were still travel seminars I need to attend.

It's always a highlight for me attending seminars and listening to people who's been there, done that. There were several speakers today simultaneously talking in two different places so I timed myself in order to see four: Arthur Frommer - author of Frommer's Travel Guides, Holly Morris - Globe Trekker host/Adventure Divas author, Jon Bowermaster - National Geographic Adventure writer and filmmaker, and for the first time, Emma RuthYulo - director of the Philippine Department of Tourism at the Philippine Center in New York.
  • Arthur Frommer is always a source of helpful travel tips, giving us websites upon websites that have current deals on destinations everywhere. What's missing this time was his daughter Pauline, also an award-winning author, who's been teaming up with her dad in previous seminars I've attended.
  • Before her scheduled talk, Holly Morris stood at the Globetrekker booth where I initially didn't recognize her. We talked a bit, asked where her next assignment is (Syria) and eventually asked her the same question I threw at Ian Wright and Megan McCormick: have you been to the Philippines? (No). At the seminar, she talked about behind the scenes while filming for Globetrekker (previously known as Lonely Planet). Compared to the wackiness of Ian and Megan, Holly appears to be the more serious if not profound presenter as she recounts an experience meeting a pregnant tiger shark while scuba diving. She also read an excerpt from her book Adventure Divas.
  • Jon Bowermaster showed a dramatic film of their rigorous kayaking trip in Antarctica - a region that's been hugging the 'climate change' limelight. They happen to be filming in the area when Gap Adventures' polar expedition cruise ship M/S Explorer sank.
  • Emma Ruth Yulo discussed the various adventure destinations in the Philippines through a slide show, including her recent escapades in the Bicol region. The highlight of her talk was a raffle for an all-inclusive adventure trip to the Philippines. While I'd be happy to have won it, I'm very glad it went to an American lady who happens to be a nature photographer. I didn't go empty handed though (not that the goody bag they gave wasn't enough): I won a photo frame ingeniously made from coconut!
Now that I have more stuff to read, I don't even know where to start. So much for itchy feet. I'm doing armchair traveling for now.

11 comments:

  1. That's lot of travel materials to read. And I'm sure the travel agencies offered substantial discounts. Fly off soon to your dream places! Good luck and enjoy!

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  2. Hey Nomad cool expo, I can only imagine how many exhibits there must have been considering how huge the Javits Center is. Darnit, if I had only known, I would've gone just to go scuba diving :)

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  3. Did you book your next holiday in the Philippines? :-)

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  4. The planning stage is sometimes just as fun as the travel itself. I've never attended one of this. Must be fun.

    BTW, I wouldn't think I would be interested to go where someone's nipple got bitten by a stingray :)

    I have always dreamed of visiting Ireland and the scenic Irish countryside and rugged coasts. Kelan kaya?

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  5. Naks! lumelevel ang Pinas sa travel destinationsa ah... ejjejejjejeje... well maganda yan... jijijiji

    Saka nakakatuwa naman yung tote bag na may mga brochures, etc... jejejjeje at least dami mo pwede basahin at makikitang interesting place... jejejejjejeje

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  6. Glad to know that Philippine tourism is being promoted proudly in that part of the globe.
    So where and when will be your next trip? :D
    or better yet, surprise us, hehehe.

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  7. im really hoping that this will somehow help boost our tourism industry. i can see the efforts of the people behind it.

    those books and magazines! ahhh... i want them all.

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  8. Wow..that's a lot of stuff. Hope you'll manage to snag great deals.

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  9. what do you do for a living? it seems you are everywhere! what a great lifestyle.

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  10. nice.

    i'm hoping that joining this kind of exhibits will boost the tourim industry in the country. our ACE in tourism is really doing his job.

    pumunta kami sa cam sur water complex yesterday. sobrang ganda. very relaxing yung place. hindi ganun kadami yung tao pero halos lahat foreigners. di na ako magtataka if it's the most visited tourist destination in the phils nowadays.

    word verification: drour

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  11. Hi Abaniko,
    Yes, there were on-site travel deals but I have other travel plans later though.

    Hi Angelo,
    It was all over the newspaper, I'm surprised you didn't know about it. Well, just wait for the New York Times Travel Show just before spring next year!

    Hi Photo Cache,
    Totoo yan, I enjoy planning the trip just as the destination itself. I like the "hassles" involved with emailing hostels, checking airfares and activities to do. Wouldn't want my nipples to be bitten by a stingray too, ouch oh no!

    Hi Xprosaic,
    Dapat lang talagang makipaglaban ang Pinas sa mga international destinations dahil may karapatan naman. And I think this travel shows work.

    Hi Docgelo,
    I guess it's better to surprise you all ha ha! Have a safe trip to Bora!

    Hi Dong,
    I'll have to spend a good deal of time just reading the books. Email me your address so I can send you one of the books once I'm done reading it.

    Hi AudMraz,
    There were lots of them but not to the destination I'm planning. Thanks for dropping by.

    Hi Mussolini,
    I work for the health care industry so travel is really an extension of my adventurous self.

    Hi Poot,
    I've always seen how Sec. Ace Durano have actively promoted the Philippines in the overseas market. DOT would surely miss him once he leaves his post for a bigger role in Cebu.
    Will check your post on CamSur!

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