The Big Apple with Big Trends for 2018

For most Californians, four days of meetings in New York City at the end of January isn’t everyone’s idea of a fun time but for me, it’s one of my favorite weeks of the year.

The week always kicks off with a Gala evening where the coveted Travvy Awards are announced. Often referred to as the “Oscars of the Travel Industry”, representatives from all the air, cruise and land tours gather together to celebrate those honored by the 100,000 votes cast by travel agents across the United States. Rudi and I proudly accepted five Gold awards on behalf of AmaWaterways for Best River Cruise Line Overall; Best River Cruise – Europe, Asia and Africa and Best River Cruise Ship – AmaKristina. As proud godmother of AmaKristina, I was particularly touched to accept this year’s Best River Cruise Ship Gold award.

Next up … a full day of “speed dating-like” 15-minute appointments held with media representatives from Canada and United States. Rudi and I had 24 appointments each and we were fascinated by the quality and diversity of the media – from print and online publications– that we met. Going by the questions we were asked by the media, the prevalent travel trends for 2018 clearly revolve around Wellness, Food and Wine and Multi-Generational Family vacations.

An exhausting but productive day was topped off with a wonderful cocktail reception to launch Samantha Brown’s new PBS series “Places to Love”. AmaWaterways is a proud sponsor of the series and our guests can join the delightful Samantha and her crew onboard the AmaPrima on July 18th Rhine and Moselle Delights cruise as they film several new episodes of Season 2.

Friday morning was the kick off for the huge New York Times Travel Show where I participated in the “Small Ship Cruising” discussion panel. There is a clear desire for more authentic and personalized travel experiences that a smaller ship is perhaps better equipped to provide its guests. Lots of questions and interest on river cruising continued from travel agents and media long after the official session wrapped up. There were many other interesting presentations open to the public and it was wonderful to see the crowds of people coming out for the event.

It was a busy, productive week and based on the buzz in the chilly winter air, I’m sure that 2018 will be a booming year for travel.

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