Do You Go to Travel Shows?
It’s travel trade show season again.
Every year here in the United States, Los Angeles Times and New York Times put on two huge travel trade shows for consumers, and every year thousands of people window shop for their next year’s vacation. Across the globe people are gearing up to attend World Travel Market in London and ITB in Berlin. There are travel shows around the world through the month of June for professionals as well as consumers.
What do we (consumers, online content producers, destinations) gain from attending these shows and how do they translate into tourism from consumers?
Personally, I travel to these trade shows to discuss partnerships with tourism bureaus and tour companies. I set up appointments and talk about our events and projects to see who is interested in taking part. For the consumers and exhibitors, however, it’s a much different experience.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, “One billion tourists have travelled the world in 2012, marking a new record for international tourism—a sector that accounts for one in every 12 jobs and 30 percent of the world’s services exports.”
What does this mean to exhibitors at the trade shows? Everything. It means that the small investments they are making to attend these shows are translating into tourism. By making themselves available to the public for questions and conversations, the consumers are becoming emotionally attached and are more willing to make the trip a reality.
For the travel website like Jetset Extra and the hundreds of journalists and bloggers/vloggers out there this translates into a symbiotic relationship between destination and content producer. Many people are reading blogs and online travel magazines and watching countless hours of travel videos, day dreaming about where they want to go next. The online content producer has their full attention so why wouldn’t destinations around the globe want to partner with them? How much more likely is someone to take a trip they read or watched a video about from a third party such as an online magazine or blogger/vlogger?
A Singapore Tourism Board Industry Update, P@SSPORT April 2012 edition, April 2012 reads, “As technologies make it easier for people to tag and review all aspects of travel experiences, travellers will be more influenced by peer groups and expert curators. The prospect of personal travel guides and mobile tour representatives will give travellers the tools they need to enrich their experience.”
So it seems it is a winning situation for all of us. The online content producers get content opportunities, the consumers get a third party’s (hopefully unbiased) opinion about the trip they want to take, and the destination gets the tourism dollars they count on every year.