Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Planning a summer trip? Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show returns this weekend

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The Shaw Centre was abuzz Saturday as the 27th annual Travel and Vacation Show made its return to Ottawa.

More than 150 exhibitor booths from travel agencies and embassies were set up and ready to give the public a snapshot of sunny destinations from around the world.

“I think the general public is tired of trying to plan these trips on the internet rather than just talk to people from various countries and people that are actually doing the tours,” said general manager Robert Player on Saturday.

“This way, they get a much better idea of where they would like to go.”

Player says the show is expecting around 17,000 visitors over the weekend. To him, it signifies the travel industry is healing from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s improving after being down for three years,” he said. “There was very, very little happening, but last year was a pretty good year here and this year is even better.”

Walking the show floor were Vera Yuzyk and Terri Tomchyshyn, two friends who were brainstorming some upcoming trips.

“There’s some really interesting brochures and places that I haven’t been to, so it’s a great opportunity to learn about other countries,” said Yuzyk.

Tomchyshyn, having recently retired, said she wants to start expanding her travel experience.

“As much as I love living here, it’s time to go see the world,” she said. “This looks like a good opportunity to see who’s got what available for us and to have a good time doing it.”

A woman browses some travel brochures about New York on April 6, 2024 (Sam Houpt/CTV News)

Cuban music filled the air near the Caribbean booths as performers serenaded passersby. Some exhibitors were handing out samples of food traditional to each country.

“There are many different countries – unexpected places I’ve never heard of before,” said Jean Roberth Souza. “It’s a chance to see the world in one single place.”

Others were planning trips closer to home. Terry O’Keefe is looking forward to a summer trip to Newfoundland with his wife.

“It’s the only province we haven’t been to yet and so we’ve got to take that off our list,” he said. “It just looks like such a magical place.”

The show provided him a chance to speak one-on-one with locals at the extensive Newfoundland display.

“There was so many people there to answer questions – that was really helpful.”

The show continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shaw Centre. Tickets cost $10 at the door.

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