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Saturday,  May 25, 2024 12:38 PM 

First annual VIT show lands in Vancouver


First annual VIT show lands in Vancouver

The first annual Vancouver International Travel Expo took place last weekend, welcoming nearly 8,000 consumers and 400 travel agents to meet with dozens of suppliers from across the industry.

The show took place at the Vancouver Convention Centre from Sept. 23 to 24, with booths from 40 exhibitors (including PAX) representing air and cruise lines, hotels, tour operators and destinations from around the globe, as well as seminars geared toward both travellers and agents. According to organizer Steve Klein, the show is the first of its kind to be held in the city in several years, in response to demand from agents.

“It’s been quite a few years since there’s been a show like this for agents in Vancouver, about five or six years ago,” Klein said. “When I was approached to put a show together, we did some research and talked to travel agents and they said ‘yes, definitely, we need a show.’ That’s the feedback I’ve got at the show as well, that it’s great to have a show again.”

Klein added that there has already been discussion of taking the show’s trade aspect and branching out into other parts of Canada, similar to the Addison shows of years past.

“It will take a while to get where Addison was; they were known for their shows across Canada,” Klein said. “We’re going to stick with Vancouver for now but you never know, we may find ourselves across the country on the travel agent side. In Vancouver, we’ll have the consumer side as well.”

An even bigger show is already planned for next year (scheduled for Sept. 29-30), Klein said, adding that personal interaction will always be a vital part of the travel industry.

“Face to face contact will never go away and there will always be a need for it, whether it’s the rep going from agency to agency each year or coming to a show where the agents come to them,” Klein said. “It’s part of the business.”

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