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Travel Show sees strong attendance

Jim Palmer of Rocky Mountaineer Vacations talks about his company's travel options with guests at the Passport to the World Travel Show. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
April 03, 2019
From cruises to train tours to guided tours and many others, people from across the region could explore different options for vacations at the Passport to the World Travel Show.

Penny Pitou Travel of Laconia hosted their annual travel show at the former Pheasant Ridge Country Club on Saturday.

Vendor tables from many different travel companies filled Contigiani's Convention Center with representatives on hand to talk to guests about their different offerings and hand out brochures and materials. A number of presenters talked about different travel options throughout the day.

Guests could get a passport stamped at different vendors and at presentations and turn them in for a chance at the grand prize: a trip for two to Scotland.

With a few hours until the end of the show, Penny Pitou Travel vice president Kim Terrio said the day has been going awesome so far. Attendance was steady throughout the day.

"It's been very steady, which is our goal," Terrio said.

She said in previous years, they would have a big rush at a certain part of the day. This year the requirement was placed that in order to get all the stamps necessary for the prize attendees also needed to get a stamp from a presentation, meaning people came to the show throughout the day to see a presentation that interested them.

"Just overall they love the vendors," Terrio said, later adding "They're getting a lot of great new ideas for vacations."

They had the same amount of vendors, but this year Terrio said they had around four and five new vendors.

One of the vendors was Collette, which Andrew Bessette, Business Development Manager for Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, said was the oldest tour group in the country at 101-years-old. The company organizes guided group tours to 160 destinations on seven continents.

Bessette said the response at the show was overwhelming and they have had a lot of great conversations with many people. Coming from Rhode Island himself, Bessette said he talked to a lot of people he has talked to before.

"It's a small northeast," he said.

Rocky Mountaineer Vacations runs luxury train tours in from Seattle and Vancouver into the Canadian Rockies. Regional Sales Manager Jim Palmer said the trains run during the day and guests stay in hotels overnight.

He said they got a great response at the Travel Show.

"I think I've gone through 200 brochures," Palmer said.

One thing that's helped is that some of the Penny Pitou Travel agents have been on the train tour a few times.

Crystal Cruises is a luxury line of boats and all inclusive tours in many destinations across the world including the Arctic, ocean cruises, the Mediterranean, Europe, Asia, and many others. Dottie Ansel, Strategic Business Development manager for Crystal, said the ships offer farm-to-table dining and have the highest guest to staff ratios of any cruise line.

Ansel said the Crystal table was really busy during the show.

"It's been a phenomenal show; really good attendance," Ansel said.

Varney Smith
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