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2013 Travel Goods Show: With Overall Travel Increasing, Show Was Largest In Recent History

Travelers Today       By    Amanda Woods

Updated: Mar 01, 2013 10:51 PM EST

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The 2013 Travel Goods Show -- a three-day exhibition allowing travel-related distributors and manufacturers to put their products on display -- was the largest of this annual event in recent history.

Luggage sets, inflatable pillows and passport holders filled the 125,500-square-foot space in Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Convention Center, making this 16 percent larger than the 2012 show, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Michele Marini Pittenger, president of the Travel Goods Association, told The Las Vegas Review Journal that overall increases in travel have helped this year's event, which began on Wednesday and wrapped up on Friday, to be so successful. The U.S. Travel Association expects 2013 travel-related spending to increase 3.6 percent from last year to $882.3 billion. In Las Vegas, the number of visitors increased 2.1 percent in 2012 over 2011.

"When people travel more, they want better travel goods," Pittenger told The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The show featured 260 exhibitors and 450 brands, increasing attendance 30 percent from 2012. Of those brands, 113 booths were first-time exhibitors.

"Our show, when for so many industries, the new normal is a flat market, ours is just booming," Pittenger told The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Old luggage favorites such as Samsonite, Kenneth Cole and Swiss Gear were present at the event, but new lines focusing on specific features, such as ComforTravel's line of passport holders that also protect subscriber identity module cards, were also displayed.

The ComforTravel product is designed for international travelers who change SIM cards when they visit different countries, according to owner and CEO William Laurent.

David McClees, president of Talus Corp., a distributor of travel accessories such as money belts, pillows and locks, said the show was productive for his company.

"It's been a good show," McClees told The Las Vegas Review-Journal.  "We've seen a lot of old friends and had a good reception to a couple of our new products that we're really pleased about."

The company's teleport charging station, which allows users to store phones while charging them to free up counters in hotel rooms, was particularly successful at the show. It sells for about $15.

Archtek also was at the show, displaying its toothpaste tablets -- which are exactly what they sound like: put one in your mouth, chew it, and then brush your teeth, as if you're using normal toothpaste.

"At 25 percent of the weight and volume of an equivalent amount of toothpaste, the convenience factor is huge," Scott Jacobs, Archtek's owner, told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Because TSA allows any quantity of toothpaste tablets as carryon luggage, they never need to be separated and placed in the dreaded zip-lock bag for scanning."

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