I spent a rainy Saturday leaning into all things travel at NY TravFest, a four-day conference dedicated to connecting industry professionals and enthusiasts to their passion for seeing the world.
It was my first visit to the Bohemian National Hall. The building’s neo-Renaissance architectural exterior facade a pop of color on an otherwise residential street. It always amazes me how much New York is like an onion, there’s always something to uncover even when you’ve lived here all your life. Home to the Czech consulate, the New York Czech Center, the Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association, and the Dvorak American Heritage Association — the building was sold by the Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association to the Czech government for $1 in exchange for the Czech government agreeing to a full renovation. The interior is airy and spacious, filled with open layouts and channels of light. The conference utilized the ballroom, skybox, library and a multi-purpose room on floors 3 through 5.
Ashlea Wheeler, a volunteer photographer for NYTF, was kind enough to give me the lay of the land. Ashlea moved to New York from Australia and in addition to authoring A Globe Well Traveled, is dabbling in social media marketing.
After reviewing the agenda, I decide to attend the Exploring Music Tourism and Trends in Travel Tech sessions, enjoying a complimentary lunch catered by Go Go Curry USA during the mingle and meet. Festival attendees represented travel and food bloggers, travel tech startups, tourism boards, as well as operators and travel products.
Some of the people I met today:
April Hope, content creator of Love, Lust or Bust, a global community for those who love to travel, and travel for love to connect and share tales of adventure, romance, and catfish confessions.
Prashant Kankaria, founder of Locaholic, a personalized restaurant recommendations app. Prashant and his teammates, Jeet and V, were the NYTravFest on-hand tech residents, fielding questions about WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace.
Bianca Roos is a multilingual travel coach, blogger, and photographer, originally from the Netherlands. She now calls Florida home when not out and about collecting stories for her travel blog, Globing Bianca.
Marian Goldberg a writer and publicist with expert knowledge of educational travel, travel technology, culinary, and cultural trips, especially in East Asia.
Justa Lujwangana, founder of Curious On Tanzania, an experiential travel company specializing in creating authentic Tanzanian experiences. Justa’s table in the exhibition room featured a selection of souvenirs crafted by the Women’s Cooperative of Zanzibar.