More than 250 exhibitors descended upon the Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Center for Jan. 21-22 at the Travel & Adventure Show. Booth after booth filled out the convention center with stages for performances and demonstrations around the outer area.
Over the years, the expo has housed many of the same vendors with large showings, such as AAA, Mexico,and Arizona tourism.
There were opportunities to mount Eli the camel, ride on Segways and scuba-dive in a heated pool.
Dancers packed in the crowds from Taiwan to Ireland throughout the two days.
Representatives from several destinations spoke of how they would like to reach out to more LGBT travelers and the misconception of how these visitors may think they will be treated in faraway countries. Tourism boards can be of assistance in such cases and are encouraged to be contacted if there are concerns about safety.
Giveaways to encourage traveling were offered over the weekend, for example a trip for two to India or a private tour of the Vatican were among many prizes.
Not only did raffle drawing winners enjoy their time but discounts were given for many of the cruises and safaris to everyone. Gift cards and excursion vouchers were incentives to book travel at the expo on the spot.
There was a whole regional section to Chicago that spotlighted vacation in the Midwest such as Milwaukee and Wisconsin. The show ran the distance from there covering places as far as New Zealand and Asia.
As locals start planning out trips for 2017, this was an excellent opportunity for the travel juices to start flowing.
For more information on this annual event, visit TravelShows.com .
Photos and text by Jerry Nunn