This weekend I was a guest at the San Francisco Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show. It is held annually in the city of Santa Clara, and they always have a lot of interesting things to see. It is nice to go there and plan upcoming trips, or to see the latests trends. The day at the travel show went by super fast.
The show is for two days and this time I went on Saturday. Last year I was at the show on Sunday and it definitely didn't feel so packed. Sometimes it was even hard to walk ahead or approach some of the vendors, which was a little uncomfortable. However, when ever there is a great speaker doing their lecture, you can count on the isles getting a little emptier.
California counties, wine areas and national parks were very well represented at the show. It also felt like different cruise lines and cruise sellers were in every corner. The most popular cruises from California are to Mexico and to Alaska, but there are also other places to go to. Some fly to Florida and start their cruise from there, hitting the beautiful Caribbean destinations. Also Hawaii had some nice stands at the show, and it is one of the favorite destination of Californians.
I almost felt like there weren't so many countries from Asia there. There were so many people on the Japan section that I was hardly able to fit in. People are definitely interested in getting more information about the Japan trips. I also saw Taiwan, China and South Korea with their big stands. South Korea of course brought the Olympic theme with its mascots to the show. Also Europe didn't seem to be taking a lot of space in the hall; I only remember seeing France and Ireland. I'm sure there were some others too, but these ones cought my eye.
This year I didn't feel like I had to see any of the keynote speakers. Last year though, there were many I didn't want to miss. Also, some of the speakers were the same from last year, which didn't make a lot of sense to me. I think the most popular one this year was Rick Stevens who is a travel writer and a TV host.
One big trend at this show seemed to be all kinds of sales representatives for time shares. They seemed to be on every isle, and you really had to be careful what you wrote your name into. Many so called "contests" would only let you participate if you qualified based on your age, income level and so on. There were so many "free" flights to Hawaii or "free" hotel accommodations in Mexico, which actually required you to participate in a sales event. Some of my friends have done that and gotten their free vacations... maybe I should try it too. Have you done that? Any thoughts?