Promoting an emerging destination can be a tough sell, but up-and-coming tourism promoters learned winning strategies at this year's New York Travel Festival. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
Travel shows usually exhibit their fair share of tried-and-true destinations.
At the New York Travel Festival, an up-and-comer on the consumer circuit, a couple of places that might be considered a tough sell were trying to get a foothold in the tourism game.
Rijad Morina, a hotelier in Kosovo, says it makes sense for her to work hard to promote her city.
"Making Kosovo a new destination is a worthwhile thing for us. We will try to combine as much as possible of making a combination of nature beauties and historical points," Morina says.
A contingent of 16 people from the Balkan region of southeastern Europe, representing formerly war-torn Kosovo and Serbia, is part of a State Department exchange program designed to teach U.S. tourism strategies.
Travel writer Lee Abbamonte explains some of the tactics these emerging tourism industries can adopt.
"Their best draw is basically the play on history, and then you can combine it with a trip to the coast, like down in Croatia or Montenegro or Bosnia," he says.
On the brink of a new millennium, news broadcasts were painting a different picture of Serbia and Kosovo than reporters would like to tell today.
Ermal Bandori, a journalist from Kosovo, says he has learned a lot about ushering his city's media strategy into the online age.
"From this festival, I learned that we have a lot of things to do, first of all with our media, online media, because we don't have a lot of media which are online and do not offer the English version," he says
One of the touristic highlights of the Balkans is rock climbing and mountaineering, something the visiting contingent hopes might become a new frontier for an American clientele.
Adventure travel consultant Jeffrey Donenfeld describes what about Serbia appeals to the adventurer.
"The sell in my eyes with Serbia is, this is way off the beaten track in undiscovered, pristine and beautiful country and location that is just begging to be explored," he says.