Attention Travelers: SD Travel Festival

SD Travel Festival website was created to promote the 2014 travel fest.
The content below is from the site's archived pages.

"I had friends who told me they would be attending this convention. Since I was on a West Coast swing showing my company's hot tub clients our newest products. Every three months or so, I drop by the stores to see what customers are looking for and to show new hot tubs. I was able to coordinate my trip to San Diego to coincide with the SD Travel Fest so my friends and I could get together. I joined them on one of the Sunday Tours Sunday morning, and then we went to Hello Betty Fish House with its great ocean views from its rooftop patio. They are always interested in the hot tub products that I sell, even though neither of them owns one, although they do know of people who have switched from traditional bathing to indulging in hot tubs. They have told me that they associate them with luxury and relaxation, but I have told them that the marketplace has greatly expanded and is becoming more accessible. And now that wellness and self-care are becoming priorities in so many states, hot tubs have also addressed that need. After lunch, they caught up with their SD Travel Fest attendees and joined an afternoon tour." Elizabeth Tepper

If you happen upon this site, check out what you missed at the 2014 SD Travel Festival.

Update: 2023
Whoa! So much has happened in the last nine years, but let's focus on the last four years since Covid hit. The pandemic totally trashed the travel industry, but it's 2023 and the market place is roaring back. The SD Travel Festival, aimed at both the trada and travelers, is no more. The 2023 San Diego Travel Expo was presented by Travel and Cruises - a locally owned and operated travel agency in San Diego. They were obviously looking to entice folks that it was time to resume traveling. I dropped by since I was visiting a client in San Diego and they invited me to go with them. I no longer sell vaping items. Like many folks I changed careers during Covid and started working from home. I now help businesses who who either want an online presence for their brick and mortar store or want to start an ecommerce businesses. I work with them to select the right platform, design look/skin, and then help set up a site that will work for them. One of my favorite go to sources is where they not only compare ecommerce platforms, but also offer reviews, tutorials, the pros and cons of the most popular platforms, and related software integrations like chat or woocommerce. Not only do they cover all the basics but they also discuss key factors like web hosting bandwidth, payment gateways like PayPal or stripe, inventory management systems, ease of use, point of sale systems, customer support etc. eCommerce Platforms, with their insightful information, makes me look good to my clients.
I went to the 2023 San Diego Travel Expo expecting a similar approach of the 2014 SD Travel Festival which was split between industry professionals and traveler consumers. Boy, was I surprised. This was an Expo aimed specifically at the traveler. As their annoncement said: All are welcome to this FREE family-friendly travel expo! Connect with Travel Suppliers and specialists for the ocean and river cruises, resorts, tours, hotels worldwide, and more. I'm glad I went. It got me thinking about taking a Jazz music cruise in the Caribbean next year.




SEPTEMBER 11th to 14th, 2014

 This inaugural event has workshops about everything from eco-conscious to budget traveling. There are also parties, movie screenings and other adventures.

"The SD Travel Fest is the first of its kind on the West Coast and a local, intimate chance for travelers to meet, for travel industry to connect and authors/speakers to spend face time with their audiences," explained Fest organizer Elaine J. Masters. "It's about creating community and bridging from the online world to real experience - which is what travel is really about. It's a different kind of travel festival than the giant, vendor packed, crowded shows that roll through city after city and on smaller scale entirely, with a huge digital footprint."



Thursday, September 11th 2014

When: 6.30 – 9.30

Where: Horton Grand Hotel Palace Bar

311 Island Ave, San Diego


Friday September 12th 2014


Gather at the finest wine bar SD 57 Degrees! Meet the speakers and other travelers & experts.

When: 7.00 pm

Where: 57 Degrees

1735 Hancock Street, San Diego


Saturday, September 13th 2014


The 'meat' of the festival dedicated to travelers and travel industry. Two Tracks: do one or select from both with registration See full schedule below!

When: All Day Panels – 9.00am – 4.00pm

Where: New School of Architecture & Design

1249 F Street, San Diego


Sunday, September 14th 2014


Select from various tours of San Diego starting at 9am then join our closing party at 4pm with Food Trucks Local Brews and music!

When: 9.00am – Tours : 4.00pm – Closing Party!

Where: Catalina Offshore Products

5202 Lovelock Street, San Diego




Cultural Connection 9.30am

How to deeply, personally, and authentically connect Cross-Culturally

Adventure Travel 10.30am on 9/13 

How to plan for your ultimate Adventure Travel outing

Travel for Good 11.30am on 9/13 

Make a difference, and travel for good with sustainability in mind

Go Boldly 11.30am on 9/13

How Entrepreneurs, Community, & The Internet are changing the lives of travelers with accessibility needs.

Travel Hacking: 101 12.30pm on 9/13

How to go further and more often for pennies

Women's Travel & Adventure Options 12.30pm on 9/13

Come explore what's missing in women's travel, what makes it different, what opportunities there are, and more with two experts in the field!

Long Term Travel & Expat Life 2.15pm on 9/13

Learn the realities and secrets of traveling the world for less than the cost of living at home.




Branding thru Video w/ Local Producers  10.00am on 9/13

Building brand presence and reaching your audience is increasingly dependent on video. Whether it's a YouTube piece or a full series, there are more opportunities than ever.

Working Effectively with Brands 10.00am on 9/13

Engaging brands takes time and work. Learn how from experts who do this daily, whether you're an established company or start-up

Hospitality & The Asian Market

How to attract the Asian Tourism Market for Hotels & Hospitality

10.30am on 9/13

Behind-The-Scenes of Travel Apps  11.00am on 9/13

Learn the Good, The Bad, & The Ugly sides of building your own travel app from someone who's done it

Social Media Content Strategies 11.45am on 9/13

Strategies and take-aways to make your social media efforts effective and powerful

Brand Building thru Self Publishing  12.15pm on 9/13

Content is king but is it really true that you need to publish or perish? Our experienced panelists will share thoughts.

Brand Building thru Photography 2.15pm on 9/13

Demystify the keys to creating compelling photos

Tasting the World: Culinary Tourism 3.15pm on 9/13

Make authentic dining central to your travels with several world travelers, authors and chefs


Register Here:

Ticket Options from as low as $39 & $49 - Single Day (and student) passes for as low as $15!\



Thursday:  we get things started with a VIP Industry & Media Reception for the SD Travel Festival at the Horton Grand Hotel’s beautiful Palace Bar at 6.30pm! Come meet and greet other industry professionals in the travel space and get some good networking done.

Friday:  will be our official Festival Opening Party for all! Kick it off with us in style at 57 Degrees, San Diego’s premier wine venue. The party starts at 7pm!

Saturday Sessions:  will be in the bright expanses of the Auditorium Center of the New School of Architecture and Design in San Diego’s East Village.

We have several spaces for each track – seating in two classrooms and the mural hall, plus the auditorium. Between sessions there will be break-out lounge areas along the entry corridor, plus exhibitors and an ‘Experts Corner’ in the dining space.

Our team members bring  vast Travel Industry and Media connections and experience including: the Travel Well Meetup network of over 1,600 San Diego travelers; Members of the San Diego chapter of the Travel Massive network; the San Diego Millennials in Travel; Professional chefs, cookbook authors and seafood purveyors; Independent publishers, podcasters & travel experts, and more! We look forward to it being a full day of really valuable panels & discussions

In the evening we’ll be kicking back at 7pm with a little travel related screening session. First, The Boy Who Flies, a world premier of underwater adventure from San Diego legend, Chuck Nicklin and a preview of the new travel show, Forbidden Travels from San Diego film maker, Sharon Lee.

Sunday:  we’ll have regional tours of San Diego starting bright and early at 8am! Latch on to any one of those being facilitated by Another Side of San Diego, Rancho Santa  Fe Historical Architecture, or Baja Wine and Art. Then in the late afternoon (4pm) we close out the festival with our final bash at Catalina Offshore Products! With food trucks, local brews, and prizes to be won, bring your family and friends out for a fun gathering! Tix avail to general public.


Full Weekend Schedule

The Panels are just a taste: network & mingle, see cool films, and take local tours!