Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Travel and Adventure Show

Last weekend, I attended the Travel and Adventure show at the DC Convention Center. 



The annual show includes hundreds of information booths, ranging from travel agents, to tour guides, chambers of commerce, theme parks, a bookstore, home services, several famous travel related speakers, and more. There are 3-4 speaking stages covering various aspects of travel. I only attended one lecture, Rick Steves and his discussion on traveling around Europe like a local.

I have often used his travel guides on my European trips and was happy to hear him speak. One story he shared that I enjoyed was about how Americans can have a very wrong impression of a destination simply due to circumstances. He said that 90% of Americans will see a destination along with 90% of other Americans during a short excursion or tour time window while it is overly crowded, and never get the true sense of that destination or how it is to its locals. His example was of Dubrovnik in Croatia. 90% of Americans will see that city during a short cruise excursion in the middle of the day. Because they are competing with other cruise ships in port, the crowds will be heavy, and Americans will come away with the impression that Dubrovnik is overcrowded and was not what they had heard or read about the city. He encourages travelers to stay the night. See the city the way it is without the crowds. It transforms into what people have heard and read about.