What to Expect When Attending the NYT Travel Show

January 30, 2020 New York, NY, USA

New York Times Travel Show 2020

If you ever wanted to attend the New York Times Travel Show, here's a few things to keep in mind!

New York Times Travel Show.
Address: Jacob K. Javits Center - 429 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10001

The New York Times Travel show is a three day event that brings in thousands of people each year to explore new destinations. It's one of North America's largest travel shows, with over 747 exhibitor booths across the globe, over 35 thousand travelers and industry professional attendees, over 280 travel industry speakers and experts, and over 176 represented countries from around the world. This happens to be the 17th year of the infamous NYT Travel Show, so clearly they are doing something right! It took place last weekend (January 24-January 26 2020) and I wanted to share a few takeaways from the event and also encourage you to attend the following year if you're in the area. if you want to see how the event looks like, watch my youtube video below!

This wasn't my first time attending the New York Times Travel Show. I went for the first time back in 2016. I remember seeing an advertisement for it and it caught my eye. I never been to a travel show  at that time so I decided to purchase a ticket and go. I didn't know what to expect prior to going but I had so much fun. I came back home with a bag full of pamphlets, brochures, magazines and so much new information.

If you're someone who loves to travel, interested in learning about new destinations, want to attend seminars, learn about different travel related topics, sign up for contests/sweepstakes/raffles to potentially win a free trip, or have nothing to do that specific weekend- go to this event! I will be breaking down the event a little bit more into detail so you can get a sense of what to expect.

Friday: Trade Day.
The NYT Travel Show kicks off on Friday and this day is reserved for travel professionals only. This is a full day event where you need to go in with a game plan if you're attending this day. This was my first time attending trade day and it was definitely an experience. There's so much going on at different times that you need to have a plan on what conferences interest you the most so you can make sure you don't miss them. The conferences are held in different rooms and the times for certain sessions do overlap with each other so keep that in mind. 

You're in the same room with industry leaders, travel agents, tourism boards, tour companies and media of all forms. This is the perfect opportunity to network and connect with those in the industry. Bring your business cards and start mingling with whoever crosses your path! I found the sessions and press conferences to be really interesting. You got to hear about 2020 travel trends, a focus on certain destinations, business and marketing trends within the tourism industry, topics of different travel niches, age markets, social media and much more. 

Something I wanted to mention is if you're a person of color and in the travel industry, please go to conferences like this. It's so important to show up and be that representation because sadly the diversity isn't there. I was so happy to be able to meet fellow latina travel bloggers, journalists, authors and tv hosts while I was there. Also meeting other people of color I follow on social media within the travel industry but sadly it was just a handful. The diversity within certain panels was non existent. During one of the Q&A sessions, a women in the audience made a point of speaking about the lack of diversity when it came to travel bloggers and the opportunities that are there for people of color which led to a loud applause in the room. Hopefully we'll see a change in this area in  the future!

One of the conferences I attended was about Africa tourism and it was sad to see the room not full of people compared to conferences that spoke about European tourism. One of the speakers actually made a point to say that many people avoid traveling to Africa because they feel it's unsafe or find it scary to travel there- just lack the knowledge. People will travel all around the world even to remote areas but still think of Africa to be a complicated place to travel to. The points made in this particular conference inspired me to want to explore more of Africa!

Another topic that was brought up a lot was Millennial and Gen-Z market. From the few sessions that talked about this market kept stating that these demographics are spending less money in travel. As a millennial, I didn't agree with what they were saying at all. Everyone I know would rather spend their money on travel experiences than anything else. I also talked to a Gen-Z travel blogger who attended this session who also didn't agree with the stats they presented as well. Many people that were on the panel that were speaking about this topic weren't even in that specific age demographic which didn't make sense to be honest. We are the future market of travel. We find most of our travel inspiration through social media in what ever form that is and hearing the lack of interest to market to this demographic was very interesting.

With Dubai being one of this years sponsors of the NYT Travel Show, they talked about their 2020 Expo that will open in up in October. It looks like a fun international event and hope to check it out! Guadeloupe Islands was a destination that interested me as well. It's a French Caribbean island that unveiled that JetBlue just launched a non-stop flight service from JFK airpot. Taiwan is promoting mountain tourism this year and the vistas showed in their press conference looks spectacular. Smart tours will be launching woman only group tours in March in honor of International Women's Day and these will be smaller groups to enhance women empowerment and connection between travelers. 

Puerto Rico was also encouraging tourists to visit even after being hit by many natural disasters recently, they made it known it's open to tourism! Nepal hopes to welcome more tourists by the end of the year as well. Also learning there's lots of misinformation about traveling to Cuba right now and just know independent and group visits remain available for tourists. While Italy certainly gets it's fair share of international tourists each year, Puglia wants visitors to explore more this particular area. Of course there's so much more information about the amazing destinations around the world that attended the event but it would just take up majority of this blog post.

There were so many takeaways from the sessions on this day that were very interesting and highly recommend attending if you're in the industry. Also while all those sessions are happening at 2pm they have the ribbon cutting for the exhibition floor. You're then able to talk to and network with the exhibitors until closing. I was also interviewed for TV segment which was so cool. It's a long day for sure but a very informative one!

New York Times Travel Show Trade Day

The New York Times Travel Show

Saturday + Sunday: Consumer Days.
Now Saturday and Sunday is open to the public. Anyone and everyone can attend these days, you just need to purchase a ticket and you're good to go. The tickets are very affordable, they are about $20 for one day and $25 to attend both days. If you want to bring your children, they are completely free if they are under 18 years old. Sometimes you can also find tickets to the New York Times Travel Show on Groupon and get a discounted price!

Once you walk in, you can grab a free tote bag that you can carry along throughout your time here. Within that bag there's information about the event as well as information about all the sponsors of that year. You then proceed to print out your ticket and you receive a badge that will allow you enter the exhibition floor. You may feel overwhelmed because during these two days, there's so many people! The exhibition floor is divided by regions across the globe so it makes it easier to visit the destinations you're interested in.

There's also a lot going on within these two days for the consumer that you should keep in mind. On the exhibition floor there are three stages decaffeinated by color. The Red stage is a cultural stage where you can find different performances from dancing to singing represented by different countries. The Blue Stage had speakers giving information about a specific destinations. The Orange stage also had speakers talking about different topics and tour operators and performances. There's also a section called "Taste the World" where world class chefs from all over the world talk about different cuisines from their respected country, have a cooking demonstration, and at the end you can actually sample what they cooked. Also certain booths also gave out samples of different platters, wine, liquor, and dessert (usually those booths had the longest line).

With over 700 exhibitors, you'll find a mixture of destination board booths, travel product booths, cruise lines booths, airline booths, travel tour companies and etc. Each booth will be giving out freebie brochures and pamphlets to whoever stops by. Sometimes you'll get branded pens, pop sockets for your phone, a usb, eye mask, tote bags, a snack, and so much more. As I mentioned earlier, some booths offer free trips, free hotel stays, a free tour, free airline tickets, as long as you sign up for them. Some booth have fun wheels to spin, raffle tickets, or IPad sign ups but just keep an eye out because you never know it can be your lucky day! If you do plan to travel within the year some companies have great amazing discounts if you book on the spot. Another thing to note if you don't have a passport or need to renew your passport, they have passport pop up where they have services there to help you.

Below the exhibition floor are where the seminars take place. You can listen to different topics from travel experts such as how to travel on a budget, understanding points and miles, ancestral travel, responsible tourism, and so much more. As on trade day, certain seminars take place different rooms and the times can overlap. So if you're interested in a particular seminar, keep an eye out for the time and place so you won't miss it. You're also able to buy travel books, meet the authors and get your book signed by them!

As you can tell it's an action packed event with so much value, entertainment, and information for all ages. If you attend by yourself, with a friend, partner, or family, you'll have a great time. I recommend wearing comfortable shoes because you'll be on your feet and walking a lot. Don't worry there's plenty of seating areas to relax if you're tired. If you're coming with kids, there's a lot of activities to keep them entertained. I saw face painting, balloon animals being made, and crafts for kids to partake in. There's Starbucks and food vendors outside the exhibition floor if you want a food or drink break. There's also fun photo opportunities at certain booths that you can snap away for Instagram. If I haven't convinced you yet to attend the New York Times Travel Show then I don't what else will. Open your mind and hearts to lesser known destinations, to new languages and cultures, exploring beyond tourist attractions, and connecting with locals. I know it left me more inspired to see more of the world and sparked my wanderlust to new heights! 

NYT Travel Show Colombia

New York Times Travel Show 2020

NYT Travel Show Taiwan

New York Times Travel Show 2020

NYT Travel Show Indonesia


Youtube Video.



Comment Below,
Have you attended the NYT Travel Show before or plan to attend next year?

88 comments

  1. I went last year and was in NYC during the show this year (and had Friday passes!) but I skipped it. Ha! So bad - you make me wish that I would have stuck it out. Maybe next year!!

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  2. I have never been to a travel show before. It would be awesome to attend this one. Of course it would be awesome to visit New York to begin with! haha

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  3. I'd be torn. I want to go but then I'd be sad because I won't be able to afford all the different things that would be offered. Looks like you had fun though so that's good

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    1. You're not obligated to buy anything. You can just get information on destinations and plan a trip in the future. Also enjoy the entertainment and seminars!

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  4. I've always wanted to go to those types of shows.

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  5. This looks so exciting. I have only been to one travel show in my life and it wasn't in New York City. I seriously would love to attend a show now, as your blog post inspired me to. The culture is fascinating. Thank you for sharing this.

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  6. Thank you for sharing these tips! Super helpful. Shows can be super overwhelming, so being well prepared and informed is key!

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    1. Yes, its so important to be prepared for events like these!

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  7. It's always great to read about a trade show before you visit and this is packed with very useful tips, thank you !

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  8. I think I need to schedule the next NYTTravel Show into my life! What an amazing experience. And those consumer days and cultural exposure - my wallet may hate them but my soul will love them! So glad you had such a nice time!

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  9. I'll be completely honest, I had no clue about this event! I'd never heard of it prior to reading this post, but now I'm highly intrigued. It sounds like it's really informative and fun! It made me sad to hear about the lack of diversity on the panels here - because I certainly see it on the blogger trips. I sure hope that changes soon!

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    1. I know right, blogger trips certainly lack diversity as well. Here's to hoping for change in 2020!

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  10. I used to go to shows like this all the time when I had a "real job". I miss them! It was so much fun to walk around and learn about different companies.

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  11. Wanderlust seems like a great event for those with the travel bug. I may try to go myself next time.

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  12. This is a show I need to go. My family and I take frequent trips and seems like this would help us with more travel ideas and places to go!

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  13. Your post is making me wish to go visit that place

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  14. i always love travel shows and the many promos they offer. what i dont like is the crowd but often, it is the crowd tha tmakes the fair exciting.

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  15. No, I haven't attended the NYT show. It seems interesting. I am a travel-person, of sorts. Always loving new places I visit.

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  16. I haven't been in NYT Travel Show yet! I hope to see it soon. Seems so interesting!

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  17. This looks like a fabulous show! I would love to go sometime soon!

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  18. This sounds so neat to attend to a travel show! I never knew about this and it’s great that they have that so you can learn more about traveling!

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  19. This is one of the travel shows I want to go! It seems complete. I spent 4 years going to NYC every 6 months and never heard of it!! Now I need to make a trip just to attend!

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  20. I was really interested in reading this as I thought about going in the past but I just never made it happen. It sounds really fun and definitely like an experience! Learning about other cultures and destinations would be so cool too!

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  21. I have never experience to attend to an event like travel show but I am sure it was a great event. Lucky you, you were able to learn and experience everything in one event.

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  22. How did I not know about this? This looks like a blast to attend! There are so many places that I hadn't heard of yet and this is a great place to find new places to visit!

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  23. That's really neat! I was wondering what you could expect from going to a travel expo. It's cool that they show off local foods, and cultures.

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  24. That's really cool event. I have yet to visit it, but I would love to x

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  25. This looks like a ton of fun. I am definitely going to have to plan a trip here soon myself.

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  26. This looks like a lot of fun! I wish we had a travel fair like this one in Tokyo. It would be really cool to go.

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  27. Thanks for a detailed documentation of your travel event. We also have travel expos here and I'd like to see them the way you do, so many opportunities to see the world.

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  28. I havent been to a travel show yet. We dont have a lot of them in Ontario. It sounds like a blast. Im surprised to hear that there weren't a lot of people at the Africa seminar, as I know a lot of travel agents and tour groups are really pushing this destination. It's on my list. I just wish it wasnt so expensive.

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    1. In the seminar, they were trying to showcase that they offer more than safaris. To explore their gastronomy, festivals, and shop local artisans. It's on my list to see more of Africa as well!

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  29. I never attended this kind of show. Looks so much fun and you guys really enjoyed the show.

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  30. I've never been to New York but if I ever do, I have this article bookmarked in the list of things to do in the Big Apple!

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  31. This sounds like such a great event! I'd love to check it out one of these days.

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  32. Very interesting post. I had no idea that they did huge travel shows. Looks like it was lots of fun.

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  33. I’ve never been to a travel show. This seems very fun. Lots of things to check out.

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  34. I had no idea NewYork Times has a travel show! Seems like a great tourist attraction when you visit NYC!

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    1. Yes many people fly in just for this event that specific weekend!

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  35. I would love to attend this showcase. Especially for all of the international food!

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  36. it looks like there's a lot of amazing deals here! would love to be here. <3

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  37. While I won't be attending the New York Times Travel Show this year, I am going to attend my first travel show here in the Midwest. It's helpful to know a bit more about what to expect!

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  38. Oh wow what a fab and very fun event for you. Looks like you had a lovely time with so much to see xx

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  39. Sounds like such a fun event to attend. Glad you had a good time.

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  40. Looks like a great event! Would you recommend going there as a simple consumer or is it more of an industry event?

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    1. As stated in the blog post, Friday is for travel professionals and Saturday/Sunday are for consumers.

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  41. Wow! I did not know there was a conference for travel. What a great experience. I love that it promoted diversity and exploration of the lesser known places. Travel allows us to make connections and become more compassionate global citizens! I love that!

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  42. I've heard a lot about this travel show but never read a review about it so I'm glad you did!

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    1. I remember trying to find blog posts on people's experiences when attending and there weren't any. So glad this was helpful for you!

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  43. I have never heard of this travel show but how fascinating! I would love to go to just see everywhere I could want to visit in a lifetime!

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  44. Wow, this looks great. I'll know exactly what to expect if I do ever attend one. Thanks for the info!

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