New York Travel Festival 2013


Bohemian National Hall ballroom

Not all travelers are alike, yet consumer travel shows continue to have a one-size-fits-all model with booths, brochures and freebies. For today’s young, tech-savvy urbanites who are already seeing the world, the inaugural New York Travel Festival will offer a needed change of scenery by reinventing the consumer travel show.

Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21, this weekend event will combine lively interactive talks on different facets of travel, destination and activity displays, and jaunts out in New York City’s various boroughs.

On opening day, April 20, the festival begins at 9 a.m. at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street. This historic Upper East Side venue will feature a who’s who of travel experts, conducting lively panels discussions, a game show and breakout sessions that will go beyond lecturing.

Andrew Evans, National Geographic’s Digital Nomad, will deliver the keynote address. Other scheduled guests include:

– Lee Abbamonte, the youngest American to visit every country on earth;

– Valarie D’Elia, host of NY1’s “Travel with Val”;

– ‘Nomadic’ Matt Kepnes, author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter;

– Chef Marc Murphy, judge on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’

– Robert Reid, Lonely Planet’s U.S. travel editor; and

– Alison Wright, award-winning photographer.

On opening day, April 20, the festival begins at 9 a.m. with lively panels and breakout sessions inside Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street. This historic Upper East Side venue will host a who’s who of travel experts, in panel discussions that will go beyond lecturing. Offerings include debates, a game show, tastings, workshops, and other interactive elements.

Breakout sessions will focus on local/regional travel, as well as five niches: Adventure & Outdoor; Cultural; Food & Wine; Gay & Lesbian and Responsible & Eco/Sustainable. There will also be an on-site cooking class available to VIP ticket holders.

On April 21, Sunday’s portion will allow participants to go on a variety of tours, tastings and other activities organized by an assortment of established tour companies, neighborhoods and BIDs. Scott’s Pizza Tours, Urban Oyster, and Turnstile Tours are some of the itinerary providers included in this year’s Festival.

Tickets are $40 for Saturday only (not including lunch, which is $15 in advance, $20 on-site), $75 for a weekend package until the festival (includes admission to Saturday’s event and one tour for Sunday. VIP Packages are available for $150 and include a three-course cooking class with Chef Pierre Thiam (seen on Iron Chef) on 4/20 and an exclusive Mexican Cultural Experience on 4/21. Doors will open for Saturday’s event at 8:00 a.m., with the program running from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit

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About New York Travel Festival:

Produced by RW Social, the New York Travel Festival reinvents the concept of the consumer travel show. Designed for younger, tech-savvy urbanites, the two-day festival will open at the Bohemian National Hall with panel discussions and break out sessions. The second day will involve various scheduled tours and activities in select neighborhoods in and around New York City. Visit

bruce northam

Bruce Northam is the award-winning journalist and author of The Directions to Happiness: A 135-Country Quest for Life Lessons, Globetrotter Dogma, In Search of Adventure, and The Frugal Globetrotter. He also created “American Detour,” a show revealing the travel writer’s journey. His keynote speech, Directions to Your Destination, reveals the many shades of the travel industry and how to entice travelers. Northam’s other live presentation, Street Anthropology, is an ode to freestyle wandering. Visit