Celebrating Your Cultural Heritage

Vilnius Cathedral and Bell Tower    Photo by Ann Charles

Lithuanian folk singers                            Photo by Ann Charles

Baltic cultural heritage was definitely highlighted at The New York Times Travel Show, which was held in the "Big Apple" recently. Lithuanian American Ann Charles (family name "Zikaras") evidently believes in preserving one's cultural heritage, and in her case, it happens to be Lithuanian.

As a member of the Baltic Sea Tourism Commission (BTC), New Yorker Ann Charles reported that the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania received high visibility at the event. "With travel and tourism to the Baltic countries on a definite upswing, this was the time to promote Baltic Europe on a global level in North America," she said, "and the best place to do it was in New York City."

The fact is, 25,000 people attended The New York Times Travel Show, and there were 5,000 members of the travel trade at the event, as well as 500 exhibitors. For maximum mileage, the show offered not only a listing in the Official Directory, but other promotional opportunities for exhibitors, including seminars and cultural performances.

"All in all, we were very pleased with the heavy turnout, and the enthusiastic response to the Baltic Sea countries," she said. "We considered it to be a major tourism marketing campaign from North America, especially for the Baltic countries."

In the Official Directory, it stated: "In the Europe Pavilion, expect to find the tourist offices of Europe's most popular destinations, such as France, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Greece, and Spain, as well as a few you might not anticipate, such as the Baltic Sea Tourism Commission, Saxony Tourism, and the Tunisian Tourist Office."

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