by Adriana Acosta

Interested people wanting to learn more about exciting destinations or just wanting to take a peek of what is out in the world of travel, will be able to explore at the annual travel show this weekend, Jan. 9 and 10 at the McAllen Convention Center, at the corner of Ware Road and Expressway 83. The travel show will open its doors at 9 a.m. and is free to the public.

In its, 21st year, the show will feature hundreds of travel destinations, attractions and entertainers from Mexico and the United States. More than 130 presenters will be in attendance.

Featured performers include the Ballet Folklorico of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Rey Duran with Ballet Andaluz - flamenco. Country Western band Sipe and the Country Playboys, as well as the middle eastern dance troupe Ahava .

Over 13,000 potential travelers attended the event last year and this year the same is expected.

“The travel show is an opportunity for those who love to explore new places to visit with the people from those places, buy tickets, arrange itineraries, or just get a lot of new ideas for places to visit,” said Jim Deuser, from the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.

This year, Centerplate South of the Border Grill, is a featured exhibit and will be in the center of the exhibit hall.

“This year they are going to love it even more because the food prepared by Centerplate is as good as any in town and now everyone will have a chance to enjoy it while they are at the show, “ said Deuser.

Food items will include quesadillas, fajitas, gorditas, nachos and other dishes.

The lineup also includes an exhibit titled “Learn Spanish in Costa Rica at CPI, which is a resort that places host families in total immersion in Spanish while making available the delights of Costa Rica tourism in three separate locations.

For the first time, three upscale RV parks and related resorts will be onsite, The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Space, Sunset Point Waterfront RV Resort and Blazing Star RV Park and Resort.

Cruise lines attending the travel show include Celebrity, MSC, Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney and Viking River Cruises. The Black Dragon Cruises out of South Padre Island will exhibit for the first time this year.

Other Mexico destinations included in travel show is the city of Jalpan and the region of Tequisquiapan. The cities are known for their scenery, caves, rivers and food.

The doors will open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. For more information, contact the McAllen Chamber of Commerce at 682-2871.