By Maria Russo
Roni Weiss, organizer of the New York Travel Festival, announced during today’s premier event that Jason Cochran is Frommer’s Travel new editor-in chief. The announcement was made before the panel discussion “Spike the Baby! (And the Other Rules for Dodging Travel Scams),” which was presented by Cochran himself.
The New York Travel Festival was held at the Bohemian National Hall on Manhattan’s Upper East Side; it will continue tomorrow with individual customized tours throughout NYC’s neighborhoods. A line-up of prominent travel writers, editors and TV hosts came to the Main Stage to discuss a range of topics. National Geographic’s Digital Nomad, Andrew Evans presented a riveting keynote speech about letting go of the idea of a “bucket list” filled with glamorous travel destinations and embracing a new kind of travel that takes travelers out of their comfort zones.
Robert Reid, Travel Editor for Lonely Planet, duked it out with TV host Valarie D’Elia in a friendly debate about various travel-related topics. Ross Borden, Founder & CEO of Matador Network joined Joe Diaz, Cofounder and Chief Product Officer of AFAR Media and Grant Martin Editor-in-chief of Gadling in an panel discussion addressing the next generation of travel media.
Visit Mexico hosted a spicy tasting event in the venue’s light-strewn bar where attendees sampled Tortas Ahogadas, Mexican ceviche from El Mitote and several types of Mezcal from Oaxaca. Representatives offered authentic recipes and valuable travel information about Mexico’s vibrant cities and natural attractions.
A gorgeous gathering of culinary artisans and restaurateurs offered samples of local cuisine from the Hudson Valley alongside experts who shared information about some of the regions best (authentic) attractions. The room showcased the Valley’s steadfast commitment to supporting a sustainable food movement.
There was also an effervescent tasting and panel discussion with industry insiders Josh Bernstein, author of Brewed Awakening and the app Craft Beer New York; David Naczycz, co-founder of Urban Oyster; Gene Muller, founder of Flying Fish Brewing; and Jeremy Cowan, founder of Shmaltz Brewing and president of the New York City Brewers Guild about beer trends, brewery tours, and ale trails in New York and New Jersey ““ two states that contain more than 120 small breweries and brewpubs, many of which are new and within two hours of Manhattan.
The event was brimming with opportunities for the public to chat with industry insiders in an intimate and welcoming setting. “Unlike most travel events I attend, I made great connections, met cool people [and] learned new things,” said seasoned travel writer Jeanine Barone in a tweet sent out during today’s event.
It appeared that the majority of attendees were impressed with the range of interesting events and panel discussions, but it was hard to ignore the wave of excitement when Weiss announced, during the last panel discussion of the day, that Cochran would be leading the future of Frommer’s Travel. No other details about the editor’s plans for the site were revealed, but it’s safe to say that with Cochran’s extensive experience, Frommer’s is in good hands.