The New York Travel Festival opens on Saturday april 26th at Bohemian National Hall in New York City. It is described by the organisers as being aimed at ‘tech savvy, immersive travellers’ and it offers those attending a broad range of interactive discussions, aimed at reinventing the concept of the consumer travel show by dragging it firmly into the technologically advanced 21st century.
The Festival is aimed at people who see travel as more of a chance to experience the world, rather than simply viewing it as something of an escape from everyday life. The attendees run the gamut from travellers themselves seeking advice on how to make the most of their journeys, bloggers looking at the newest and best ways to pass on travel writing and people running companies providing cutting edge travel and tourism experiences.
Amongst the speakers at this year’s festival will be Mark Chestnut, a travel writer and photographer and Rainer Jess, who works as a Special Correspondent for National Geographic’s Intelligent Traveler magazine and as the Family Travel Correspondent for AFAR.com. Over and above the lectures, workshops and displays, attendees will be tempted by discounts which are only available to those at the festival and gifts which are given away for free, the most impressive of which come from the travel clothing company ClothingArts.com in the form of gift certificates worth up to $300.
The material being presented at the festival is roughly divided into two separate halves – that which is devoted to consumers and that which deals with industry specialists – and spread out over 5 separate venues, including the Grand Ballroom, the 3rd Floor, the Kitchen, the Cinema and the Skybox. The fulcrum of the festival is the Grand Ballroom. In here, festival goers will be able to sample food and drink, watch performances, talks and exhibits and learn more about some of the companies and products which will be helping to shape the travel experiences of millions of people in the years going forward.
The interactive nature of the event is demonstrated by the fact that the Kitchen will feature hands on cooking classes and workshops hosted by top chefs from both the city of New York and the wider world. Throughout the festival Master Classes and Workshops will offer insight, knowledge and experience from seasoned professionals keen to pass on their knowledge. Topics being explored include How to Start a Social Venture, making the Most of Every Trip and a Career Break Workshop. Another key element of the festival will be the screening of Videos known as Travel Babels. These clips, no longer than five minutes, feature travellers from all around the world talking about their experiences, explaining things such as why they decided to become a ‘traveller’, what experiences they’ve had whilst travelling that have changed the way they see the world and what impact they feel travelling has had on forming the person that they are today.
For those working in the travel industry, tickets for the festival start at $100.