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The Show Must Go On

Previously I reported on the Bay Area Travel Show and our upcoming show schedule. Trade and consumer shows are a vital part of our marketing efforts to entice visitors to our area so here’s an update on the show circuit.

In addition to the Bay Area Travel Show, Sandy Gordon, Marketing Director has attended the Go-West Summit in Boise – a meeting for tour operators from around the world who sell tours to the western US and the LA Times Travel Show held at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

She reports both shows had good turnouts with considerable interest in our area. She was able to make contact with a number of new tour operators as well as re-establish relationships with those currently bringing travelers here. Sandy also reports the attendance at the LA Times show as being very good this year with a lot of interest in our area.

Nanci Sikes, Executive Director has also been very busy having attended the ITB (International Travel Bureau) Show in Berlin and a recent Annual Travel Media Event in New York. The ITB Show in Berlin is the largest travel show in the world bringing all segments of the industry together. Nanci was there with the Visit California contingency representing the entire region with a focus on international tour operators who bring business to the US.

The New York media event gave her the opportunity to meet with a number of travel writers for all segments of the media from around the US. In the past this show has often led to articles in media outlets around the country providing great exposure for Tuolumne County.

I’ve also attended 3 shows: two for Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and one for Group Leaders of America (GLAMER). Starting in 2010, the Visitors Bureau has decided to expand our efforts in these two very selective markets in hopes of attracting more meetings and events and more groups to the area. To maximize our efforts we focused on the two MPI chapters in our area which each do their own trade show: San Francisco and Sacramento. The San Francisco Show at Moscone Center attracts mainly corporate meeting planners from all over northern California. The Sacramento Show, held this year at Thunder Valley Casino attracts mainly association and government meeting planners. The GLAMER Show, also in San Francisco attracts organizers of group tours ranging from bus companies and travel agents to volunteer organizers with religious groups and service clubs.

I can add to Sandy and Nanci’s sense of an improving economy and growing interest in our area leading to more visitors in the future.