The world of travel congregated at Manhattan's Javits Center on Friday for the 11th annual New York Times Travel Show.
More than 350 exhibitors displayed the wonders of the 100-plus countries they represented, showing travel professionals and consumers the best their countries have to offer and promoting a series of Travel Show-specific tour packages.
At the Asian Pavilion more than 10 exhibitors represented the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, including tourism groups like Wendy Wu Tours USA, Access China Tours, airlines such as Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Chinatour.com, and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau as well.
"China's one of those places that was always a little foreign to people, but people are a lot more receptive to going now," said Davie Ingram, destination specialist for Wendy Wu Tours, which is based in Australia but has operations in the US.
"Before, it was one of the things where people say, ‘China is on my list of places to go, it's on my bucket list, I'll get to it one day.' They figure that it's their final hoo-rah," he said, but trans-Pacific travel was still a hassle, China was never a primary destination, he said.
With numerous airlines all competing for a slice of the US-China travel pie, people are noticing the accessibility and affordability and jumping to travel to China, Ingram said.
Joseph Sinisi, director of marketing and sales at Access China Tours, said that in the last few years multi-generational travel to China has picked up.
"There are grandparents who want to take not only their kids but their grandkids too to have unique experiences," he said. "We're also getting more heritage trips — people who have adopted Chinese girls who are now teenagers and want to go back to China."
The New York Times Travel Show is open to the public this weekend and closes on Sunday.