Media Contact: Elissa Doyle
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Active Travelers Still Buying Vacations!
Chicago’s Adventures in Travel Expo Draws
Record Crowds Despite Stormy Weather and Economy

Milford, CT, (January 13, 2009) – In an ever-increasing negative news cycle about the sour economy and despite a major winter storm that dropped a foot of snow in a 30-hour period, thousands of active travelers turned out to the Adventures in Travel Expo held January 10-11 in Chicago.

In the first 2009 show of the world’s leading series of active and adventure travel shows, more than 13,000 consumers, media and travel agents braved the elements to attend the show, many looking to book their next vacation.

More than 500 top experiential travel experts from around the globe exhibited on the Expo’s two-acre show floor to showcase a wide range of travel options, including: cultural vacations, eco-travel, wilderness treks, safaris, island getaways, adventure trips, volunteer vacations, luxury train journeys and itineraries for sports and outdoor enthusiasts. Sales were reported to be strong across all categories.

"The robust attendance and sales at Adventures in Travel Expo surpassed our and our exhibitors' expectations, especially amid rampant reports of a tourism downturn," noted John Golicz, CEO of Unicomm, producers of the Expo. "This event illustrates that now more than ever, travel providers need to tune their marketing programs to reach qualified active travelers if they want to sustain growth in 2009.”

Commenting on the Expo, Tourism Tasmanian's North American Representative Karen Stolz said, "I've been at this show for five or six years and consumer interest in Tasmania was probably the strongest it has ever been." She added that her colleagues from Qantas Vacations, which specializes in vacations to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, concurred that it was the best consumer show that they had been to in a very long time.

Lisa Greyhill, representing the Adventure Travelers Society, commented: "As a tour operator, we were especially pleased with the turnout at the Chicago Adventures in Travel Expo. Despite challenging weather, the show was very well attended by members of the press, agent community and consumers of all ages and demographics. Our programs were enthusiastically attended and our booth staff was busy the entire show with travelers planning for 2009 and 2010 departures."

Keynote speakers Andrew Zimmern, host of Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods" and Patricia Shultz, bestselling author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, spoke to captivated, standing-room-only audiences. Hundreds of attendees tried their hands at scuba diving in the dive pool, took camel rides, examined wild animals and took in a wide array of cultural performances.

Mr. Golicz observed: "Value and authenticity were the buzz words many attendees spoke of. Even with so many high-tech ways to explore travel destinations and options, people still need confirmation that only comes from talking with experts about the travel experiences they offer."

The next Adventures in Travel Expo will be held in conjunction with the Los Angeles Times Travel & Adventure Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 14 -15. As the largest travel show in the United States, the LA Times Travel & Adventure Show will host over 2,000 exhibitor personnel from around the planet. Travel experts Rick Steves, Arthur and Pauline Frommer and Samantha Brown will join world renowned explorers from National Geographic Adventure to deliver fascinating seminars.

For details, visit www.adventureexpo.com.

About Adventures in Travel Expo:

Adventures in Travel Expo is the world’s leading active and adventure travel show for trade and consumers. In 2009, the remaining schedule of events will take place in four U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Calif., February 14-15, Washington D.C., February 21-22; New York City, October 10-11; and Seattle, December 5-6. The events highlight responsible, experiential, active, adventurous, cultural and heritage travel with exhibitors, presentations, hands-on adventure opportunities and cultural performances. For more information, visit the website at www.adventureexpo.com.

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Note to Editors: Images of destinations, tour operators, lecturers and performers are available on request to Brittani Wood, brittani.wood@dc-intl.com or by calling 212-725-0707.