TBEX North America 2016: Minnesota (VIDEO)

Just a few of the reasons why we think Minnesota is a great destination for TBEX North America 2016. Won’t you join us?

TBEX North America 2016 To Be Held in Minnesota


We’re very excited today to announce that TBEX North America 2016 will be held in Minnesota on May 28-31. Our venue will be the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America.

Our host sponsor will be the Mall of America, with presenting sponsors Explore Minnesota, Meet Minneapolis, and St. Paul.

Registration for TBEX North America 2016 is now available for the super early bird price of $107 for bloggers and $497 for travel industry professionals. Super early bird prices are non-refundable and not-transferrable, and no discount code is applicable. These are the lowest prices that will be available to TBEX North America 2016 registration, and are available through November 16, 2015, 5 pm Pacific Time. No lower price will be ever available.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Minnesota!

Registration for TBEX North America 2016 is NOW OPEN.

Welcome to TBEX North America Party October 29th at Westin Diplomat

00001Join us down on the sand at the Welcome to TBEX party on Thursday, October 29th, 6:30-8:30 pm at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa.

Children (defined as those under 18) who are registered to attend TBEX North America, are welcome at this event. All attendees under 21 years of age will be required to wear an identifying wristband to comply with state law.

See you there!

The address is:  3555 S Ocean Dr, Hollywood, Florida.

TBEX Asia 2016 to be Held in Manila


ManilaToday we’ve announced that TBEX Asia 2016 will be held in Manila in the Philippines on October 13-16, 2016. The venue will be the beautiful Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

Registration for TBEX Asia 2016 is now available for the early bird price of $107 for bloggers and $397 for travel industry professionals. Early bird prices are non-refundable and not-transferrable, and no discount code is applicable. These are the lowest prices that will be available to TBEX Asia 2016 registration, and are available through October 31, 2015, 5 pm Pacific Time. No lower price will be ever available.

If you want to discover why it’s more fun in the Philippines, click here to register for TBEX Asia 2016.


We’re Recording at TBEX Asia


For attendees of TBEX Asia 2015 – bloggers and industry representives alike – we have a couple of recording opportunities for you.

This Week in Travel will be recording live on Friday during speed networking, 3:40-5:40 pm. When you have a break in your appointments, stop by to watch Gary Arndt and Chris Christensen talk about what’s going o in travel. Who knows, maybe you’ll be asked to be a guest on this award winning podcast.

We Want YOUR Travel Stories In Thailand! During Saturday’s speed networking sessions, 2:50-4:50 pm, Evo Terra will be collecting travel stories from your Discover Thainess experience, whether you’ve experienced Thailand in the past or had an amazing adventure in the short time you’ve been in-country for TBEX. will provide a casual, no-pressure environment and guide you through the process of making an audio recording of your magical memory. It’s great exposure for your own travel brand, as he’ll make the stories available to you, our hosts, and our sponsors after the show. Don’t panic, but he’ll be broadcasting the sessions live, as they happen!

Here are some tips to make the most of your 10 minutes of fame:
  • Have a single story in mind. 10 minutes sounds like a long time. It’s not.
  • Don’t script your story. This is a conversation, not a monologue. (And we’ll ask questions to help you tell the story, too!)
  • Be yourself! The biggest part of the story should be YOU! (We’ll help bring that out.)
  • Don’t panic! This is super low-key. And we promise not to use anything that makes you sound silly. We want you to shine!

Make good use of those 10 minutes slots when you don’t have an appointment booked and pop into one of these live recording sessions.

8 Reasons to Get Excited about Oasis of the Seas


zipliningIn just a few short weeks, TBEX at Sea will board Oasis of the Seas, one of the world’s biggest cruise ships – and even if you’ve been on plenty of cruise ships before, there’s a lot about this one in particular that makes it exciting.

Oasis is no longer the newest ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet (that honor belongs to Anthem of the Seas, which will make its American debut in early November).  But it’s one of the most beloved, when you take a look at the passenger reviews compiled on Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise review site and online cruise community. More than 1,000 people have rated their vacation on the 5,400-passenger ship “excellent” or “very good,” with plenty to do for everyone in their family.

The best reason to be excited about Oasis of the Seas is that the ship itself is an engineering marvel. When the vessel was built in 2008, it immediately created a new term in cruising: Megaship. Despite its size, cruise experts such as our editor in chief Carolyn Spencer Brown remark on how uncrowded the ship feels and how organized embarkation is. The ship also received a dry dock in late 2014 that added new restaurants, faster internet and new suites.

Here are the top reasons why participants in TBEX at Sea should be excited to travel on Oasis of the Seas (and if you want more info, do check out our full Oasis of the Seas ship review. If you’re going, we’re looking forward to seeing you there!

1.  Central Park. The leafy neighborhood is one of Royal Caribbean’s innovations, and by all accounts, the space feels as special now as it did when it debuted. This is the place to go if you want to escape families with a quiet book or have a glass of wine “outdoors” in Vintages.  The roast beef sandwiches at Park Café are to die for.

2.  AquaTheater. With 20 performers involved – six divers, four synchronized swimmers, six acrobats and four specialty divers – the show at the AquaTheater needs to be seen to be believed. Tip from Cruise Critic readers: While it’s best to reserve your seat ahead of time, there are a lot of no shows the day of – so go 10 minutes early, and you’ll likely get a spot.

3.  Vitality Spa and Fitness area. As dedicated spa hounds, we find it impossible to take a cruise without getting a treatment. Oasis’ spa area is a neighborhood unto itself, including a thermal suite, gym and café. If you’re worried about over-indulging in food and drink, bring your running shoes: the ship’s wraparound track on Deck 5 comes complete with motivational slogans.

4.  Solarium. Oasis has four pools and 10 whirlpools, including a Beach Pool that has bright umbrellas and a Sports pool specifically for water volleyball and other games. But one of the best escapes is the Solarium, the adults-only area on the bow – hello, great views! (Click here for a complete gallery of Oasis of the Seas photos).  

5.  Prohibition Party. While the ship will have plenty of free parties, including sailaway, one of the newest is the Prohibition Party, held in the Jazz on 4 Lounge. The $35 cover includes drinks, and the passengers, age 21 and up only, are encouraged to dress up in Jazz Era duds. Seeing as TBEX at Sea will take over Halloween, this is yet another chance to dress up!

6.  Specialty restaurants. Oasis of the Seas has a staggering amount of restaurants onboard, including a few that were added in 2014. Among the ones we recommend: Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar (for the tableside guacamole); Izumi for sushi; and 150 Central Park, the ship’s showcase restaurant. Tip for TBEXers: Specialty restaurants usually have discounts on the first day.

7. Casino. Like to gamble? Well, even if you don’t, you’ll want to check out Casino Royale, one of the largest and most sophisticated casinos afloat. Not only does it have a Museum of Gaming, dedicated to exploring the history of gambling, there are dramatic sculptures, crystal chandeliers and an area for non-smokers. Plus with 450 slot machines, we’re bound to get a little bit lucky, right?

8.  Zipline, Ice Skating, Rock Climbing and FlowRider. A truly wide range of activities is the reason that Royal Caribbean stands out from other lines – and Oasis of the Seas has options in droves. Wanna zipline across the entire ship? Learn how to surf? Ice skate at sea? You can do all that, plus climb a giant rock wall. Don’t worry if you’re not active. It’s still fun to camp out and watch – maybe you’ll capture a wipeout on your camera!

Author Bio:  Chris Gray Faust is Senior Editor at Cruise Critic, where she oversees all of the website’s destination and port content, as well as news coverage and blog. Creator and publisher of Chris Around The World, Chris has won a Lowell Thomas Travel Writing award for blogging and has worked as a staff writer at the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, the Philadelphia Inquirer and USA TODAY, where she served as travel editor. She has a journalism degree from Northwestern University and a master’s degree from Brown University. She lives in a renovated barn in Bucks County, Pa. with her husband, two cats and a dog.

Chris will be speaking at TBEX North America about How to Write a Review. Cruise Critic is a sponsor of TBEX at Sea.


Extend Your Stay in Thailand by Pitching These Hotels

James Bond Island, Phuket, Thailand

If you are interested in extending your stay in Thailand after TBEX Asia 2015, 58 hotels are open to receiving pitches from bloggers for complimentary stays. The hotels are located around the country and represent a total of 157 rooms. Available nights will vary, and you should specify what you’re looking for in your pitch.

To secure one of these rooms, you should pitch the contact listed in the chart on the Post TBEX Hotel page. Let them know why you and your blog are a great fit for their property and area of the country. Attaching a media kit and/or providing your relevant metrics will help give the hotel the best well-rounded look at what you can offer.

Please note that TBEX is not administering this hotel program. The list of participating hotels was put together by our hosts and TBEX is not responsible for reviewing pitches, choosing bloggers, nor responding to emails.

These complimentary rooms require editorial coverage and are NOT available during the conference. These are for post-TBEX stays only.

To see what’s available in Bangkok and Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, Krabi and Phuket, and a lot more cities around Thailand go check it out now.

Click here to go to the Post-TBEX Hotel page



TBEX Asia 2015 Farewell Party at Asiatique

ferris wheel at Asiatique in Bangkok

All good things must come to an end, and for TBEX Asia 2015, we’ll have a chance to say goodbye and safe travels are the Farewell Party at Asiatique. Themed after a temple fair, there will be plenty of food and frivolity.

Thai temple Fairs are generally held for the celebration of a festival day, such as the Sart Day, the Songkran Day, etc. It is common for the Thai Temple Fair to reserve a period for the Thais to “make merit” via a religious ceremony and to make donations to the temple while all events of fair are functioning. Attending the fair and playing the midway games is also consider a way of merit making.

The Thai Temple Fair, so-called in Thai “Ngan Wat” will include common fun and enjoyment performances during the the fair, as well as other games and activities, such as riding the Ferris wheel, shooting galleries, spectacular performances of the community or the villagers, shopping booths and delicious food from many food stalls.

At Asiatique, we will reproduce the small part of “Temple Fair” to show another part of Thainess for all bloggers to experience and enjoy

The farewell party wiull be held October 17th, 2015. Here are more details:

  • 7-7:30 pm – Transportation departs from QSNCC (our conference venue) to Asiatique
  • 7:30-8 pm – Welcome and opening show:  Muay Thai
  • 8-9 pm – Dinner, cocktails, and street stalls
  • 9:15 pm – Countdown to fireworks and farewell to all our new friends

Have you registered for TBEX Asia 2015 yet? We’re looking forward to seeing you there!




TBEX North America 2015 Opening Night Party at MODS, Fort Lauderdale

Welcome to Greater Fort Lauderdale!

Kick off TBEX in style at the Museum of Discovery & Science (MODS)  in downtown Fort Lauderdale, with tropical entertainment and “Floribbean” cuisine in an interactive space where you can channel your inner-explorer, take a ride on the Everglades Airboat simulator, or take a selfie with a giant megalodon shark.

tbex (1)-page-0

Carol Cain Set for Opening Keynote at TBEX North America 2015

carolcain2015We are very excited to announce that Carol Cain will be our opening keynote for TBEX North America 2015 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Carol Cain has always been fascinated with the way people from different backgrounds and experiences interact and take in the world around them and how it influences the way in which they share their stories. As a once terribly shy child who moved around often, she found comfort in observing how others navigated their environment and related to it.

Little did she know that this skill would follow her into a career as a public relations professional, where she worked to engage the Latino press and its community in the promotional efforts of the non-profit entities she worked for. It even encouraged her to pursue an MBA in Global Management where she could teach business leaders to look beyond the surface to find a sense of commonality and understanding among potential foreign investors and partners.

In the end, the greatest influence would be on her own story-telling style as the award-winning travel blogger at GirlGoneTravel.com and in her quest to encourage others to go against the grain and find that unique voice in travel. She has shared her tips and stories in various English and Spanish online, TV, and print outlets and her travel photography has been featured in publications as far as OK! Magazine in Germany.

Join us in the audience to hear Carol kick off two day of outstanding professional development.

Register today.