John Golicz is the CEO and founder of the Travel & Adventure Shows. Over 1 million consumer travelers and travel agents have attended the Travel & Adventure Shows over the past 11 years in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco/Bay Area, Washington DC., and San Diego. Our newest launch will be in Philadelphia in 2015. The Travel & Adventure Shows are the longest-running and largest series of travel shows in the USA. These events attract over 2,800 destinations, tour operators, and hoteliers from around the globe and connecting them to thousands of high-income travelers, travel agents and the media.
RJ: Why don’t you start out by telling us a little bit about the Travel and Adventure Show?
John: Sure, Well, Travel & Adventure Shows take place in seven markets around the United States. We’re in Washington, D.C. this weekend. We just finished up three in a row in California, before that we were in Chicago, and we’ll be in Philadelphia after this one, and then Dallas. The shows are all about putting travel enthusiasts together with a room full of experts from around the world. When you walk into a Travel & Adventure Show you’ll see hundreds of display booths ranging from big international displays to local travel companies that come in just to meet and talk with travelers. So it’s a great source of information where you can talk to someone from a location, learn all the ins and outs of that locale, and plan your next vacation. It’s a lot of fun. We have stages of different speakers, culinary stages with our Taste of Travel Stage, dance and entertainment groups from around the world on our Global Beats Stage. There will be all kinds of activities on the floor from rock climbing to dive pools to bubble rollers in some markets and Segways. You get a taste of traveling and you get to kind of experience it. If you like culture and seeing the world it’s the place to go.
Kari: What are you most excited about this year?
John: I think in Washington, D.C. that the weather here in the East on the Mid Atlantic has been so bad this winter, everyone is going to be coming in looking to buy a trip and get out of here. And I’m right behind them, believe me. I think a lot of people are thinking that way right now. What we get excited about the most is you’ll see travelers come in and they have a specific idea in mind of what they want to do, where they want to go, like the Caribbean, and you go in and we have a whole row of dozens of Caribbean countries and resorts and tour operators; all kinds of options for you. So you come in and you think you’re going to take that trip and you find someone you want to do it with, and that’s great. Then you turn the aisle and go down the next one and all of a sudden that African safari idea that’s been rumbling around in your head pops up to the top of the list for next year perhaps. We get that all the time. They come to us all the time and say, “ I wound up finding five new trip ideas we’re going to take over the next few years.” That’s what’s exciting to us, that we expose people to the world and they find new and excited vacations.
We have our largest on floor theater, the Travel Channel Theater, The Travel Channel sponsors media for us around the country and that’s where the big name speakers are. Here in DC you’ll see Pauline Frommer from the guidebook series, who’s just a great expert in how to travel more efficiently. Then you’ll run into Samantha Brown who’s one of our favorites, one of the crowd favorites. You see her on TV, she’s exactly the same person and she gets you all stoked up on her ideas on how to travel. And then Rick Steves comes in and packs the audience up with all these stories of Europe. Those people really inspire to get up out of your comfort zone and find new places to go and new ways to travel. If you want to go to New Zealand you’ll meet people from that country and they’ll talk to you about what you might want to do, what not to miss, how to get there, when’s the best time to go. That’s the magic that happens. You inspire people and then they go out on the floor and they meet a local and learn about the location and those travel dreams get bigger.
RJ: We’ve heard quite a bit about the Savvy Traveler Theater. Can you tell our readers a little bit about that and what’s unique about that?
John: Sure I talked about the Travel Channel Theater, and our next stage is the Destination Theater, which are 40-minute workshops on specific destinations. The first one on Saturday is about Tahiti. And then our newest theater as you mentioned is the Savvy Travel Theater and that’s all about traveling smarter, better, all the travel hacks that you might need to know to kind of learn how to travel easier through any situation. We have experts coming in to talk to you about everything from how to put our valuables on your person to make sure you’re not pick pocketed to avoiding scams while you’re there. We get to cover technology and apps and technology products that can help you. Here’s where we teach you all those skills that everyone needs to get a little better on. Even just getting through the airport easily. Go to our website travelshows.com and look at the sessions. I guarantee there will be some of these destination workshops or Savvy Travel Theater sessions where you’re going to come away with better ideas and become a better traveler. And who doesn’t want to make the travel part of it a little easier?
Kari: Everybody! I mean save me 10 minutes at the airport, that’s fantastic.
John: I know we have on of my favorite speakers, Angel Castellanos who is one of the newest experts out there and he just captivate audiences on just how to pack better. And yes, we can all do it. We can all carry on rather than check a bag. It’s a good lesson involved there.
RJ: Thanks so much for taking a little bit of time to talk with us about the travel and adventure show
John: I hope you enjoy it, I hope your readers enjoy it. If you love to travel, you have to come. It’s one of the greatest places to come to all the time, these shows take place it’s a great weekend experience.