Thoughts, Unpacked


Shifting Landscape Means New Collaboration, Opportunities for Travel Goods Association

In preparing to write this column, I looked back and reviewed what I wrote in November 2021, about how the post-pandemic travel landscape of one year ago meant new, different and yet-to-be-discovered opportunities for the travel goods industry. And I realize the same can be said for the coming year.

As the travel landscape continues to shift and change — with the slow and steady return of corporate travel, domestic leisure travel spending surpassing pre-pandemic levels (even when adjusted for inflation), and U.S. air travel recovering to pre-pandemic levels — so too do the opportunities.

And by its very nature, that means possibility — for new growth, experiences, buyers, and partnerships.

With this in mind, I am happy to announce that the Travel Goods Association’s 2023 Travel Goods Show is joining The International Housewares Association’s (IHA) Inspired Home Show, March 4-7 at McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, as a new and distinctly branded category and in a dedicated section on the Show floor. This presence will take the place of TGA’s 2023 event, previously scheduled for April 2-3 in Las Vegas.

Through this promising, new collaboration, TGA is fulfilling an opportunity the IHA has been seeking, which was to strengthen and expand a travel goods presence at its Show. The new Travel Gear + Luggage category will showcase the luggage, travel goods and accessory brands manufactured by members of TGA. This dedicated section will be located in the Show’s Clean + Contain Expo, adjacent to the Discover|Design Expo in the North Building of McCormick Place.

This collaboration is also opening up new opportunities for TGA members.

These include face-to-face engagements with major travel goods buyers such as Costco, Fred Meyer, Walmart, Nordstrom, Target and Sam’s Club — all of whom regularly attend The Inspired Home Show; an expanded reach into new retailers across every channel; and a presence at our industry gathering — in a dedicated space — and as part of a larger show that already has a proven track record in these trying times, based on the success of their 2022 Show.

It also gives members of TGA a chance to compete in the Show’s Excellence in Product Design Competition (gia Awards); provides access to both the Travel Gear + Luggage dedicated section of the Show and The Inspired Home Show for all attendees; and offers complimentary advance admission to the Show for demonstrated retail buyers.

Travel patterns and the travel landscape continue to change, and our industry continues to grow and evolve, but one thing remains the same — opportunity. It may look different than what we thought or had planned for, but it is there for us. And it is ours to claim.

We hope you’ll join us for new opportunities as the Travel Goods Association presents Travel Gear + Luggage at The Inspired Home Show, March 4-7 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

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