The freshly printed brochures were laid out in neat piles, the promotional pencils were sharpened, and the ceviche (Peru) and rum cake (Puerto Rico) were readied for the swarms of hungry conventioneers; something tells me these freebies won’t last long when the doors open to the rest of the world tomorrow.
After an hour spent updating the site ($5 for one hour of internet use!) I headed upstairs into the souk-like main hall of the show. As was the case last year, Greece and Turkey really outdid everyone both in size and in the number of representatives (maybe a little friendly rivalry going on?), and the Caribbean/Latin American booths were by far the tastiest (see above).
I started off in the Africa/Safari section. Jospeh (left) from CKCSafaris told me about the recent influx of visitors wanting to make the day trip from Nairobi to visit Obama’s dad’s village of Kogelo (which I blogged about a few weeks ago). I told him about my recent visit to Bush’s father’s village in Connecticut — Greenwich — but he was less than impressed.
Like last year, South Africa’s really pushing travel ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Justin from South Africa’s Tourism Board gave me a free soccer ball keychain if I promised to go and have a good time — yes and yes.
Arthur Frommer (right), Mr. Travel himself could be seen wandering the labyrinthine floor, having a good time and looking great while doing so. (Sir Frommer was born in 1929; do the math on that one people. If I’m still yucking it up with Croatia’s marketing coordinator and kicking back samples of Argentinian wine at 80 I’ll be a very happy man.)
And a toucan. I was looking all over the jungles of Colombia to see one while I was there. Who knew I just had to head over to Eleventh Avenue to catch a sighting?
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