Chicago Travel & Adventure Show Reports Optimism for 2011
More than 15,800 attendees shared an optimistic outlook for travel in 2011 at the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show. The show proved a test of consumer attitudes towards travel in the New Year and found an increase in confidence and anticipated spending for 2011. “We’re certainly seeing an uptake in consumer confidence in travel in 2011,” said John Golicz, CEO of Unicomm, organizer of the event. “Feedback from the Chicago show, as well as the dramatic increase in attendees over previous years, indicated to us that 2011 will be a year where travel returns as a top priority for many Americans. However, we are also noticing that people are now smarter than ever about travel. Experiential travel with a focus on value and authenticity will be more important factors than ever to travelers. “
A recent NielsenWire report suggested that consumers have returned to 2008 spending habits, with some modifications. For travel, this means that consumers are returning to vacations, rather than staycations. And, according to Smith Travel Research, hotel revenue and occupancy is anticipated to make a recovery by the end of 2011.
The Travel & Adventure Show series, which takes place in six cities across the U.S., including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Dallas, features a combination of travel educational forums, destination seminars, experiential sampling and travel industry celebrity experts to assist travelers in their decision making process. On the show floor, attendees were able to find, plan and secure their next vacation onsite at the exhibitors’ booths.
“Voluntourism” was also identified by visitors as a burgeoning travel trend. The 2011 show highlighted voluntourism in Haiti with Spring Break in Haiti, a project that allows students and young adults to travel to Haiti and volunteer a week of their time helping with restorative projects. Visitors also got a taste of various destination activities and native culinary creations with the International Fiery Foods Challenge, a heated pool for scuba diving sponsored by Be a Diver, Wines of the World tastings, camel rides and an area for Segway tours. Plus, attendees had the opportunity to win door prizes including vacation packages and destination tours.
Unicomm, LLC produces the Travel & Adventure Show series nationwide in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Dallas, Long Beach and San Francisco Bay Area attracting over 65,000 consumers and 2,700 travel trade each year. In addition, Unicomm, LLC also produces the Faith Travel Conference & Expo and Travel & Destination Symposium. For more information, visit www.adventureexpo.com.