Patagonia and Peru Travel Experts Attend Dallas Travel Show
Last weekend, the Paragon Expeditions team cruised up I-35 from Austin to the 2014 Dallas Travel and Adventure Show to spread the beauty of South America across Dallas!
This marked the first year that Paragon Expeditions has attended the Travel and Adventure Show, which is now recognized as the largest travel show circuit in the United States with shows in more than six cities across the country. Like the New York Times Travel Show and the Boston Globe Travel Show, the Dallas Travel and Adventure Show attracts thousands of travel and adventure enthusiasts every year, many of which are eager to talk to travel experts and beginning planning their next journey.
More than 150 exhibitors came to the event to represent their travel product. There were representatives from high-rise Caribbean resorts, travel insurance providers, luxury adventure tour operators; there was a booth that suited just about everyone’s interest.
As usual, the Paragon Expeditions booth had a distinctly Andean feel, so much so that we started to call our 10×20 booth “lugarita andina” meaning “little Andean place” in Spanish. With hand-woven Peruvian quilts and baskets on the tabletops and a big screen TV streaming high-definition Peru and Patagonia travel photos, our 10X20 booth felt like a cross between an Andean chicheria and a National Geographic travel concierge, and it turned out to be quite the happening spot!
It didn’t take long for visitors to detect our enthusiasm for our Peru and Patagonia Expeditions. Tom, Adam, and Otha were all decked out in sustainable-edition Paragon Expeditions tees in front of a large Machu Picchu banner. At time, they were using this large banner as a model to illustrate the extraordinary geography of the Machu Picchu area and explain the details of our Peru luxury tours.
Ryan brought his ronroco, a unique Peruvian instrument related to the charango, and introduced visitors to the unique sounds of the Andes Mountains upon arrival at the booth.
A visit to our booth usually consisted of an introduction to the company from one of our Peru or Patagonia travel experts, with an explanation of our values of quality, service, and integrity in every aspect. We then walked visitors through our detailed color brochures, explaining our hotel selection process and introducing visitors to some of our Peru expert guides and our Peru and Patagonia conservation initiatives.
We made it clear to guests that we are a Patagonia, Peru, and Machu Picchu niche operator, and that we prefer to only offer Small Group Tours and Private Travel itineraries to the Andean region in order to ensure exceptional quality.
While some visitors were full of questions about Patagonia travel or Peru and Machu Picchu tours, others were more interested in sampling the beverages we had on display and playing sapo (a unique Peruvian game similar to corn hole or darts). During the show, we laid out samples of chicha de jora and chicha morada for travelers to taste. These two definitively Andean beverages are made from fermented corn and are very popular throughout Peru and Bolivia. Though low in alcohol content (usually around 4% or so), that hasn’t stopped local Andean workers from gulping down a few pitchers after a long day working in the potato fields or the silver mines. Feedback was mixed from those who tried it at the show, but nearly everyone appreciated its cultural significance.
We also had a sapo for people to play. While chicha is the drink of the Peruvian Andes, sapo is the game of the Peruvian Andes, and nearly every chichería in Peru has a sapo board posted up somewhere in the establishment. For the duration of the event, we offered free Paragon Expeditions t-shirts to any guest that was able to toss the coin into the frog’s mouth (which is the general objective of the game). Visitors quickly learned that sapo is tougher than it looks, and only a handful of people won a free shirt. In Peru, they may have attributed their struggles to the fact they had not had enough chicha (since you get better with more alcohol in your system of course).
Overall the Dallas Travel Show was a tremendous success, and we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet some awesome people from the Dallas area that share our love for South America travel. We plan to attend the Travel and Adventure Show next year and are eager to introduce the wonders of Peru and Patagonia to all of the attendees that signed up for our 2015 Peru Tours and luxury Patagonia Expeditions.