Last weekend the New York Travel Festival took place in New York City. Saturday’s events took place at Bohemian National Hall and Sunday’s events took place at Hostelling International. The New York Travel Festival provides information and discussion for “tech-savvy, immersive travelers,” and the event provided consumer, industry, and media tracks along with speakers and panels that were open to all.
It was exciting to meet up with some familiar faces from Tripfilms! Travel vloggers Kelley Ferro, Ryan Van Duzer, Ashley Castle, Elyse Pasquale, and Captain and Clark were all among the speakers who presented at the Festival.
New York Travel Festival, in partnership with Outbounding.org, also offered an exclusive screening of the documentary Gringo Trails to Festival media attendees and members of Outbounding.org. The film is a thoughtful exploration of the effects that travelers, especially backpackers, have on the destinations that they visit. Filmmaker and anthropologist Pegi Vail shows the changes that have taken place over just a few decades in locations like Thailand’s Haad Rin and Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni salt desert, where unsustainable travel has caused damage to the natural environments, but also the ways that the country of Bhutan and the village of San José de Uchupiamonas in Bolivia have been able to plan a sustainable model for tourism that protects the native culture and environment, while still allowing travelers access to these extraordinary places. The documentary ends on a note of hope. Though it acknowledges the damage that has been done in some places, it affirms that it is not too late for other places, if travelers can become mindful of the effects of their travel and do their part to support sustainability.
For more information on the film and upcoming screenings, visit gringotrails.com.