The 2007 Edition of The Los Angeles Times Travel & Adventure Show took place at the Long Beach Convention Center. The great hall was packed wall to wall with huge, beautiful billboards, promising an exotic escape top paradise.
A continental breakfast was offered to Travel agents by this year's presenting sponsor 'wonderful Greece.' Inside the convention center itself, more than 500 exhibitors filled the space, divided strategically first by continents then countries, states then cities, and finally a strip of tables dedicated to local southern California businesses.
Exhibitors of this year's show are ready and willing to make travelers feel right at home in all parts of the globe. Winnie Kho and Steve Kaplan are Writechoices, is one of the many companies on hand to offer customized travel experience for their customers in Malaysia. (www.bomeolifestyles.com)
Similarly, the fine folks at Big Five Tours and Expeditions offer tailor-made trips. Their mission: 'enriching lives through distinctive journeys'. This travel show, the Big Five featured territories in Africa. (www.bigfive.com) Business owners like Roberto Lopez Bravo, General Manager of Best Western in Los Cabos & Puerto Escondido were on hand to remind travelers that familiar hotel chains that can be found domestically are also be found internationally.
While the LA Times Travel show is designed to provide travelers with everything they could possibly need in terms of choices for destinations, there were also companies and organizations offering services that may not be at the top of an average traveler's must have list. Luggage Free is a service that will send your luggage ahead to any worldwide destination, saving you trouble and time, especially when going through customs. (www.luggagefree.com) Wally Park & Quikpark LAX both provide shuttle and parking options for travelers going through Los Angeles International Airport.
Perhaps the most unique discovery in this category was AirMed International. AirMed International is an emergency hospital airlift should you have a medical emergency while traveling. You buy it by the year and then, if you get sick or hurt, they will fly you home at no extra cost in a medically equipped and staffed jet. (www.airmed.com).
The LA Times Travel and Adventure Show also provided options for excursion travel that is right in our own backyard. The Fabulous Palms Springs Follies (www.psfollies.com) offers a Vaudeville revue right here is Southern California.
The Canadian Tourism Commission was on hand to remind travelers that they only need travel due north to have an international adventure.
The Destination Workshop Theatre was one of six different stages where attendees learned some of the best-kept secrets from various travel industry experts. From seminars like Family Vacations: Traveling Happily Ever After by Pauline Frommer, to an invigorating workshop on Spontaneous Adventures by Huell Howser, to Destination Weddings: From 'Where To?' to ' I Do' with best-selling author Beverly Clark (www.honeymoonlocation.com) and LA Times staff writer Beverly Beyette.
There were activities for those interested in doing rather than seeing and talking. Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite provided an indoor rock-climbing wall. DEMA Scuba Tour provided a scuba Pool where show goers could take a free lesson from a certified diving instructor (sorry, swimsuits not included).
The Travel & Adventure Show is one of several annual events sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.