Seminar Descriptions - 2014

Speakers/Schedule Subject to Change. Please check back often for updates.

For Speaker Bios Click Here

Travel Channel Theater
Sponsored By:
Destination Theater

Saturday - January 25, 2014

10:00am - 10:30am

Video Presentation: Yosemite - A Gathering of Spirit
The Yosemite Conservancy is proud to show an Advance Preview of the new Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan film "Yosemite - A Gathering of Spirit", honoring the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Yosemite Grant. In 1864, in the midst of a bitter and painful Civil War, Abraham Lincoln created the first publicly protected land in America. Yosemite would become the model for national parks here and around the world. For more info about the Yosemite park Anniversary,
click here.

10:30am - 12noon

Europe Through the Back Door with Rick Steves
Rick Steves, Author, Rick Steves’ European Guidebooks, Host, Writer & Producer, Public Television, Rick Steves’ Europe 

Rick Steves, public television host and author of over 50 guidebooks including the travel skills handbook, Europe through the Back Door, shares lessons he’s learned from a lifetime of travel. His entertaining, information-packed 90-minute slideshow lecture will teach you all the latest on stretching your travel dollar, avoiding crowds, packing smart, and eating and sleeping well. When he’s ripped off on the road, he celebrates, happy to go home and teach his traveling students about the latest scam. Learn from his mistakes rather than your own. After spending a third of his adult life living out of a rucksack in Europe, Rick knows exactly how you can enjoy maximum travel thrills for every mile, minute, and dollar in your next adventure.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

10:30am - 11:15am

FOCUS: NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Iconic Northern California Itineraries
Lee Foster,
Author, Northern California Travel: The Best Options

In this slideshow talk, award-winning travel journalist Lee Foster will describe the joys of discovering Northern California. He’ll cover the territory, from San Francisco to Yosemite, the Redwood Country to Big Sur. Lee will discuss hidden, undiscovered gems for the experienced explorer and assess the iconic not-to-miss Northern California scene for the neophyte traveler. For a teasing preview of Lee’s presentation or a summary afterwards, click on
Norcal at the top of his website at www.fostertravel.com and you’ll see his 30 favorite destination articles about Northern California gathered from his latest book/ebook, Northern California Travel: The Best Options.

11:15am - 11:45am

FOCUS: BARBADOS - Vibrant, Cultural, Amazing!
Denise Marie, Business Development Manager, Western Region, Barbados Tourism Authority

Discover a vibrant culture passionate in spirit and full of life. A place where refined luxury and exceptional culinary delights dance and mingle among lush tropical greenery, limpid blue waters and warm golden sunlight. Spend a day on a white sandy beach. Try some flying fish. Enjoy a rum punch. Learn to trade the rush, rush for the slow and easy. For the perfect getaway, few places in the world dare to even compete with Barbados!

Presented By: 

12noon - 12:30pm

FOCUS: AUSTRALIA
AUSTRALIA… Top Travel Experiences
Anthony Saba, Goway Travel

Australia is a big place! There is a lot of ground to cover, and much to experience… and for many only a limited time to do it. Let us show you some of the top things to see and do.. so you can plan your ideal vacation experience Downunder!

Presented By: 

12:15pm - 12:45pm

Experiential Travel – Travel Like A Local
Joe Diaz, Co-Founder, AFAR magazine and AFAR Media

12:45pm - 1:15pm



FOCUS: NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN
Humpback Whales... a Success Story!
Brent Nixon, Expert Naturalist onboard Celebrity Solstice

Travel with marine researcher Brent Nixon in an exploration of this amazing Leviathan's struggle from highly endangered to present day pre-exploitation numbers throughout the North Pacific Ocean. Witness spectacular feeding efforts in the brisk waters of Alaska's protected inside passage from the warm comfort of your theater seat. Brent has over twenty-five years of field studies, stunning video footage, and awe inspiring still photography that bring this show to life. If you are looking for an energetic, humorous, fact-filled, thirty minutes of entertainment about one of Earth's magnificent mammals then this is your show! If you are expecting a college lecture...you will not find it at this showtime.

Presented By:

1:15pm - 2:15pm

Samantha Brown's "How to Travel Better"
Samantha Brown, Host of Travel Channel’s “The Trip: 2014”
 

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

Click Here to Learn More About Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel

1:30pm - 2:00pm
 

FOCUS: COSTA RICA
Living Well with Energy & Food Independence in Costa Rica’s Southern Pacific Zone
Jim Gale, Visionary & Developer, Osa Mountain Village and Serenity Gardens EcoVillage

Discover the beauty of the Southern Zone of Costa Rica and two model sustainable cooperative communities that offer an enviable and affordable quality of life.
Presented by:

2:15pm - 2:45pm
 

FOCUS: TURKEY AND CENTRAL ASIA
Travels in Turkey & the Silk Road with Bora Özkök
Bora Özkök, Cultural Folk Tours

Cultural Folk Tours and Bora Özkök present a lecture on the country of Turkey. Mr. Özkök, director of Cultural Folk Tours and a World-renown Turkish scholar, will talk about the culture, history, folklore and music of Turkey and the Silk Road through Central Asia, sharing with you the gift of knowledge. He will also talk about his unique cave hotel, Cappadocia Cave Suites, as well as perform music.

Presented By:

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Bert Kreischer,
Comedian and Host of Travel Channel’s “Trip Flip.”

Working on this series has not only turned him into a reluctant daredevil, but a true adventurous traveler. Bert reveals how his once deepest fears of heights and tight spaces has propelled him into a life where skydiving and swimming with sharks are part of a day’s work. He has learned that traveling and stepping out of your comfort zone is the best way to conquer your fears and turn them into life's most exciting experiences.

Meet Bert Kreischer BEFORE his presentation between 2-2:30pm at the Bookstore.

Sponsored By: Click Here to Learn More About Bert and Trip Flip.

3:00pm - 3:30pm
 

FOCUS: SOUTHEAST ASIA
Amazing Thailand
Ben Fleming, Marketing Manager, Tourism Authority of Thailand's Los Angeles Office

The Kingdom of Thailand is famous for its fascinating history, delectable food, buddhist temples, and spectacular geography. But it is Thailand's unique culture and friendly people who epitomize Thailand's "Land of Smiles" reputation. Join us to learn about the wealth of exceptional experiences that await travelers to modern Thailand from new luxury hotels and resorts through to boutique tours which introduce travelers to true Thai culture and hospitality.
Presented By: 

3:45pm - 4:45pm
 

FOCUS: TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY
Capturing the Essence of a Place with Your Travel Photography
Ralph Velasco, Travel Photography Instructor, Author and International Tour Guide

Travel photography instructor, author and international tour guide Ralph Velasco discusses the importance of using a Shot List for creating a cultural portrait of any destination. He'll define what a shot list is and explain how to effectively create and use one in order to bring back a more interesting and well-rounded set of images from your travels. Ralph will also discuss photographic storytelling as well as reveal his number one photo tip that is guaranteed to bring your photography to another level, and he'll be using images from his recent trips to Bhutan, Nepal, Morocco, Cuba, Mexico's Copper Canyon, Cambodia, Europe and more to visually demonstrate these simple-to-understand and easy-to-implement concepts of which a photographer, of any level, can take advantage.

Presented by: Ralph Velasco Cultural Tours

3:45pm - 4:45pm

Europe Through the Back Door with Rick Steves
Rick Steves,
Author, Rick Steves’ European Guidebooks, Host, Writer & Producer, Public Television, Rick Steves’ Europe 

Rick Steves, public television host and author of over 50 guidebooks including the travel skills handbook, Europe through the Back Door, shares lessons he’s learned from a lifetime of travel. His entertaining, information-packed 60-minute slideshow lecture will teach you all the latest on stretching your travel dollar, avoiding crowds, packing smart, and eating and sleeping well. When he’s ripped off on the road, he celebrates, happy to go home and teach his traveling students about the latest scam. Learn from his mistakes rather than your own. After spending a third of his adult life living out of a rucksack in Europe, Rick knows exactly how you can enjoy maximum travel thrills for every mile, minute, and dollar in your next adventure.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

Sunday - January 26, 2014

11:30am - 12noon

Video Presentation: Yosemite - A Gathering of Spirit
The Yosemite Conservancy is proud to show an Advance Preview of the new Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan film "Yosemite - A Gathering of Spirit", honoring the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Yosemite Grant. In 1864, in the midst of a bitter and painful Civil War, Abraham Lincoln created the first publicly protected land in America. Yosemite would become the model for national parks here and around the world. For more info about the Yosemite park Anniversary,
click here.

11:30am - 1:00pm

Europe Through the Back Door with Rick Steves
Rick Steves,
Author, Rick Steves’ European Guidebooks, Host, Writer & Producer, Public Television, Rick Steves’ Europe 

Rick Steves, public television host and author of over 50 guidebooks including the travel skills handbook, Europe through the Back Door, shares lessons he’s learned from a lifetime of travel. His entertaining, information-packed 90-minute slideshow lecture will teach you all the latest on stretching your travel dollar, avoiding crowds, packing smart, and eating and sleeping well. When he’s ripped off on the road, he celebrates, happy to go home and teach his traveling students about the latest scam. Learn from his mistakes rather than your own. After spending a third of his adult life living out of a rucksack in Europe, Rick knows exactly how you can enjoy maximum travel thrills for every mile, minute, and dollar in your next adventure.

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

12:15pm - 12:45pm
 

FOCUS: ALASKA
Land of the Midnight Sun and Adventures Year Round
Tania Hancock, Tourism Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage

Anchorage may be Alaska’s largest city, but that doesn’t mean the frontier is far off. Anchorage is a modern city surrounded by spectacular wilderness and filled with outdoor adventures and urban amenities. The city is home to comfortable hotels, but also as many as 1,500 moose. There are world class dining options, but also hundreds of miles of trails, perfect for hiking, biking and wildlife viewing. The city sits next to one of the largest state parks in the nation, Chugach State Park, with 500,000 acres of wilderness, wildlife and high adventure. Iconic national parks: Denali, Kenai Fjords, Wrangell-St. Elias, Lake Clark and Katmai national parks are all within easy reach of the city by road, rail or air.
Presented By:

1:00pm - 1:30pm
 

FOCUS: CALIFORNIA
YOUR ‘Yosemite Experience’— What New Sightseeing Destinations You Should Add This Year
Whitney Lennon,
Director of Marketing, Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Yosemite National Park is over 740 thousand acres and has 800 miles of hiking trails that overlook glacier-carved granite peaks, steep valleys and a breathtaking number of waterfalls. But that is just the beginning of what this region has to offer! You’ll find the areas surrounding Yosemite are just an extension of the park…with a twist. Whitney Lennon will take you on a tour of the destination offerings abound in the Yosemite National Park region that range from wine tasting to ziplining; from taking pictures of 14,000 foot peaks from a helicopter to visiting gold towns rich with mining history. Whether you prefer to sleep under the stars or watch the Hollywood version on the big screen TV in the comfort of your hotel room, Whitney can point you in the right direction for creating YOUR personalized ‘Yosemite Experience’ this year. Whitney will also highlight how you can participate in honoring the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act; provide a recap on last year’s Rim Fire; suggested itineraries; and the latest information on how to avoid the congestion on the park’s busiest days.

Presented By:

1:15pm - 2:15pm

Samantha Brown's "How to Travel Better"
Samantha Brown, Host of Travel Channel’s “The Trip: 2014”
 

Autograph Signing Immediately Following

Click Here to Learn More About Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel

1:45pm - 2:15pm
 

FOCUS: CANADA
Discover Sparkling Hill, British Columbia
Wendy Patriquin, Sparkling Hill Resort

Discover an award winning emerging wine region and the World’s only Swarovski Health and Wellness Resort...Sparkling Hill, British Columbia.

Presented By:

2:30pm - 3:00pm

FOCUS: NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand: Adventures in Middle-Earth
Matt Greenham,
Air New Zealand Vacations

Join Destination Specialist Matt Greenham, as he explores the wonders of New Zealand and the amazing diversity of its North and South islands. New Zealand is a destination packed with adventure activities! For the thrill seekers there¹s no shortage of adrenaline-charged experiences from bungy jumping to jet-boating. This South Pacific country is blessed with a phenomenal playground of landscapes that inspires the spirit of adventure in all who visit. The truly spectacular scenery formed the setting for 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' trilogies, and Matt will present on some of the key locations and tours associated with these visually stunning films. So whether you seek mild activities or are a hard core adventure seeker, you will find plenty of opportunities to experience the very best of Middle-earth; New Zealand!

Presented By:

2:30pm - 3:30pm

1,000 Places to See Before You Die
Patricia Schultz, Best-selling Author 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in the USA & Canada Before You Die

Best-selling travel author and TV producer Patricia Schultz discusses some of her favorite destinations from the newly revised 1,000 Places To See Before You Die and 1,000 Places To See in the USA and Canada Before You Die, followed by signing of her books.
Autograph Signing Immediately Following