SOURCE: Unicomm

Unicomm

January 17, 2012 18:26 ET

Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show® Sets Attendance Record for Travel Shows in the United States

Consumers Indicate Increased Spending For Travel in 2012

LONG BEACH, CA--(Marketwire - Jan 17, 2012) - Unicomm, LLC, organizers of the USA's largest series of Travel Shows, announced today that its 7th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show® held at the Long Beach Convention Center, January 14 and 15, set a new record with close to 26,000 active travel enthusiasts and travel trade attending, making it the highest attended travel event in the United States.

"We were expecting a great event," stated John Golicz CEO of Unicomm, "but even we were amazed at the massive number of well traveled enthusiasts who came through the doors."

Over 25,800 consumers, travel agents and industry professionals streamed into the Travel & Adventure Show® this past weekend to meet with over 2,700 travel experts manning the show's 400+ exhibit booths.

The event's Presenting Sponsor was the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. "We have experienced an overwhelming increase in visitors to our booth -- both travel agents and consumers," stated Trust Lin, Director of Taiwan Tourism Bureau. "We are positive this will help us raise awareness about our destination and help us develop distribution channels."

Supporting sponsors included Indonesia Tourism, Visit Berlin & Air Berlin, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office, Guam Visitors Bureau, Zip Line Sponsor Costa Rica and Registration Sponsor FLO USA.

As was Taiwan, the sponsors and exhibitors were thrilled with the show's return to Long Beach.

Teri Marshall, Marketing Manager for DNC Parks at Yosemite, stated, "Yesterday was crazy, you could barely walk through the aisles there were so many people!" But it was the quality of attendees that was the buzz of the show. Ms. Marshal added, "People are stopping, talking and asking for detailed help with their travel plans."

The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show's® four stages were jammed to capacity at every session, many with standing room only. On the marquee Travel & Adventure Stage, travel expert Pauline Frommer engaged travelers on how to travel smart and keep budgets in check. Travel Channel Host Andrew Zimmern thrilled a standing room only crowd with stimulating insights and some real "Bizarre Foods." Author Patricia Schultz wowed a capacity crowd with highlights of her now second edition 1000 Places To See Before you Die, CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg explained the New Rules of Travel, and Travel Channel's Samantha Brown charmed an over-capacity crowd with her special travel insights each day of the event.

Beyond the +9,000 person increase in attendance year over year, Show Management stressed the increase in quality and shift in demographics. Average household income of the attendee was up 19% over past years' events, while average age declined 5.7 years. The majority segment of attendees fell into the 35-55 peak earning years sector, with over 48% of attendees earning in excess of $100,000 HHI.

A quick survey of over 700 people in the main stage audience painted a positive picture for travel in 2012. Over 85% indicated they were planning to take a trip in the next six months, but only 20% of the audience indicated they had selected their destination.

"Clearly, consumer confidence is rising and travelers are ready to spend again," stated Mr. Golicz. "The challenge for travel and tourism marketers will be to find these lucrative travelers in order to position their products and destinations within a myriad of choices."

Exhibitors like BJ Mickleson of high end tour operator Great Dane Journeys agreed. "It's the best show I've done in 34 years, and I mean it! Attendees were focused, wanting to go somewhere, well traveled and had the money to do it."

Exhibitors voted with their pocketbooks as the 2013 Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show® enjoyed a record exhibitor renewal program, ensuring top quality travel providers and destinations will be back next year. According to Jeff Oh, Unicomm's Executive VP of Sales, "This show generated the highest re-sign percentage of any event we have done. Exhibitors lined up to contract space for next year, and many, many exhibitors are already in discussions to increase their presence with more space and added sponsorship elements next year."

"We are extremely excited that the first major travel event of 2012 was a record breaker," stated Mr. Golicz. "More importantly, the industry definitely has something to be excited about as it appears US Travelers are finally increasing their vacation spend."

Unicomm LLC is an independent business-to-business communications company specializing in originating and managing world class trade shows and conferences. Unicomm's properties include the nation's leading and longest running series of travel events, Travel & Adventure Show® in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, D.C.; the Travel & Destination Symposium™; 3D Entertainment Summit™, the 3D Gaming Summit™ and the LA Mobile Entertainment Summit™ all presented in association with Variety. For more information: www.unicomm.org.

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