Baltic participation in The 2017 New York Times Travel Show on January 27-29 will promote cultural tourism to Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia

Among the many cultural sights in the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia is this very popular tourist attraction, Trakai Castle, in Lithuania. Photo: Ann Charles
Among the many cultural sights in the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia is this very popular tourist attraction, Trakai Castle, in Lithuania. Photo: Ann Charles
Although the exact schedule of Baltic cultural performances for the 2017 New York Times Travel Show has not been finalized as yet, chances are, young Lithuanian folk dancers dressed in colorful costumes will celebrate their Baltic song and dances as part of the cultural stage performances at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, are very proud of their cultural heritage, and their performances on stage at The New York Times Travel Show as far back as 2005 by GoBalticEurope have definitely promoted cultural tourism from North America to the Baltics.  Besides Lithuanian performances, there have been exciting presentations by the Latvian folkdance group JUMIS organized by GoBalticEurope at the show, as well.

In some cities that I’ve traveled to, there are free walking tours (with tips expected for good service), which are usually done by students who are studying history or something similar, or retirees. I’ve always had positive experiences with these, If you are visiting bergen and want to have walking tour check out free walking tour Bergen.

At the 2016 New York Times Travel Show, three exciting Lithuanian dance groups performed on the cultural stage, namely,  “Spindulelis”, (Little Ray of Sunshine) , a Lithuanian children’s instrumental/ vocal/dance group,  under the direction of Violeta Kunrotiene, “Viesulas” (Whirwind) a fast-moving group of young Lithuanian dancers from New Jersey, and “Varpelis” (Little Bell) which was the first Lithuanian children’s group under the direction of Brute Mockiene  to perform at the 2005 travel show.

The first Lithuanian cultural presentations at the Travel Show were presented by GoBalticEurope In 2005, and were continued throughout 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 in an effort to promote tourism to Lithuania, as well as to Latvia and Estonia. GoBalticEurope also initiated the first performance of JUMIS, the Latvian folk dance group, at the New York Times Travel Show.

On March 1, 2014, Lithuanian-American Ann Charles (yes, that’s me), photo journalist/author, and initiator of GoBalticEurope, presented the Travel Seminar “Northern Europe’s Baltic Sea Region – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Scandinavia -An Unforgettable Journey” at The New York Times Travel Show. Swedish-born photographer Bo Zaunders (“Nordic Reach”) and Lithuanian-American photographer Algis Norvila, contributed to the success of this Baltic seminar.

The New York Times Travel Show which last year was the highest attended in nine years, and the second most attended New York Times Travel Show ever, will take place on January 27-29, 2017, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

As it stands now, there is one Baltic exhibitor booked at the show, Via Hansa Tours, which is headquartered in Riga, Latvia.

At the 2017 show, it is expected that Eriks Lingeberzins of Via Hansa Tours will cooperate with Julius Pranevicius Consul General, Office of the Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in New York. Brochures published by the Estonian Tourist Board/Enterprise Estonia, the Latvian Tourism Development Agency, and the Lithuanian State Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Economy are expected to be distributed at the Via Hansa booth.

The 2017 Travel Show will open with a Trade Day, open exclusively to travel industry professionals and writers on Friday, January 27. Saturday, January 28, and Sunday, January 29 will be open to the general public, as well, as travel professional and media. Overall attendance at the 2016 Travel Show was 29,050. The largest growth was from consumer attendees, which came to 20,750.  These consumer traveler attendees estimated that they would spend more than $100 million in travel trips in the next 12 months, according to Travel Show survey results.

Trade attendance was once again strong at more than 8,300. which included more than 4,500 travel agents. The estimated volume of travel business represented by the travel agents in attendance was a record $12,69 billion according to Travel Show survey results.

Of the Travel Show’s more than 525 exhibitors, 110 made their debut in 2016.  In addition to networking and negotiating new deals with travel agents, the 2016 exhibitors estimate that they created additional consumer traveler sales of approximately $6 million, on-site or shortly thereafter, according to Travel Show survey results. Approximately 900 members of international media representing six continents and dozens of nations and regions – attended the 2016 Travel Show.

Ann Charles
Ann Charles is UN Bureau Chief of "Baltic Review" based in New York City. She covers diplomatic activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and the world body's work in human rights, education, culture, the environment, and tourism, among other global concerns.

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  1. The United States is taking precautions, including sending 600 American paratroopers to NATO’s three Baltic members for the duration of the Zapad exercise and delaying the rotation of a United States-led battle group in Poland.

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