Whether you travel professionally or you’re a travel agent, or even just a plain travel junkie, the Los Angeles Times Travel Show was the place to be this weekend (January 17-19). Filled to the brim with travel inside the Los Angeles Convention Center, this was the one-stop-shop for all those who are wanderlust with information and experts you couldn’t find anywhere.
For the past sixteen years, the Los Angeles Times has brought the public the largest travel event in Los Angeles loaded with "tips, tricks and techniques" every traveler should know, including helpful insights such as what the best travel apps are, how to budget for your travelling and even the best way to stay connected. Being a travel junkie myself, I made sure to immerse myself in the show and being surrounded by people who were just as passionate about the art as I was, I was undoubtedly in the right place. I attended “Trade Day“ (Friday, January 17) which was a day specifically designed for travel industry professionals and loaded with conferences that were designed to address key topics and trends within the travel industry. Although there were a handful of speakers that taught me things about the industry I would have never known otherwise, two really stuck out to me and made an impact.
Change Your Life, Change the World-It’s Time to Travel Forward was a fascinating speech given by author and adventure-seeker, Mark Murphy, an entrepreneur whose latest book Travel Forward explains the influence of little moments that define the difference between the power of positive thinking and allowing negativity to hold you back. Murphy explained how he lost his entire business after September 11th and decided that he would quit the corporate world entirely and develop a business focused specifically on all things travel; consequently, a defining moment that could have completely ruined him, only made him stronger and the successful travel-tycoon he is today. Needless to say, whether you are devoted to travel or not, Mark’s story and powerful way of thinking will be an amazing read for anyone looking for some inspiration or a way to harness the power of positive-thinking.
Another conference, The Power of Storytelling with Rob Holmes, Founder and Chief Storyteller at GLP Films, addressed the topic of real, authentic storytelling. As Holmes explained, storytelling starts with these three core questions: Why are you telling this story? Who are you telling this story to? What will the impact be? Holmes, who has a BA from Hobart College in Wildlife Management, along with an MBA from the University of Washington in International Business, Marketing, and Environmental Management, tells inspiring stories about people and places with an angle of strong purpose and character, thus, immediately engaging the viewer and enveloping them with the story. GLP films specifically focuses their stories on four fundamental topics: Travel, Wildlife, Food, and Education. Out of the short films we were shown, New Roots in Salt Lake City: Food Security Through An Urban Farming Revolution, in my opinion, stood out the most because the viewer is presented with a city that isn’t a typical conversation-starter, yet, with this short film, it not only has character but the viewer wants to know more because they are touched by the people and message portrayed in the film; thus, the power of real storytelling.
If there's one thing that I learned from attending this show was that the travel industry is flourishing more than ever and more people are making a living through their travels by use of social media including bloggers: The Vacation Gals and Johnny Jet. So whether or not you were looking for exciting, off-the-beaten-path places to ring in the New Year or you are a travel professional in pursuit of places that will excite your consumer, the Los Angeles Times Travel Show was the place to be for adrenaline junkies and travel experts alike.