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(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Participants look around at travel exhibits during the Morris Murdock Travel Expo at the South Towne Expo Center Friday January 27, 2012. Morris Murdock Travel Expo is the largest in state, with over 100 vendors.
Travel Expo in Utah soothing ‘pent-up demand’ for vacations
Vacations » Crowds gather for info about trips short and long.
First Published Jan 27 2012 05:18 pm • Last Updated Mar 17 2012 07:05 pm

Sandy • It didn’t take long for the aisles at the 16th annual Morris Murdock Travel Show Friday to begin filling with people interested in finding a dream vacation or simply booking a close-to-home trip.

The show at the South Towne Expo Center, which runs through Saturday, is a place to learn about traveling to Elko or to Africa, about cruising to Alaska or down a water slide at Lava Hot Springs. Representatives from countries such as Spain, Jamaica, the Philippines and Mexico offer colorful brochures. The U.S. State Department passport agency is even onsite.

At a glance

If you go

The Morris Murdock Travel Show runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Sandy’s South Towne Expo Center, featuring seminars and entertainers. For information, go to www.morrismurdock.com/expo.

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According to Brian Hollien of Morris-Murdock Travel, the event is expected to draw several thousand people during its two-day run. "The last couple of years, people have been scrimping. They have not made it to their annual vacation. There is a pent-up demand."

He said the hottest trips seem to be Alaska cruises or river cruising in Europe.

Jennifer McLeod of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises said interest in Europe, Asia, Russia and Egypt has been building over the past seven years. She said the luxury ships provide all-inclusive amenities such as shore excursions and wine tastings but are popular because they are much smaller than typical cruise ships, with capacities of around 160.

Jill Percival of Salt Lake City was hoping to find a good Alaska cruise for her and her husband’s 50th wedding anniversary.

"We are retired and travel, so we come here every year," she said.

Alyssa Chambers of Ogden came with her husband and young children. They were interested in either a Disneyland vacation or a Disney cruise.

Lynn Langley, who represents Disney Travel, is staying busy at the show. One of Disney’s newest attractions is the Aulani Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii. Aulani features a private snorkeling lagoon, a kids clubhouse, adventure excursions, themed restaurants and four themed pools.

For some of the closer-to-home vendors, the travel show provides an opportunity to get the word out about weekend getaways.

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"This is a big show for us," said Vicky Lyon of Lava Hot Springs, just across the border in Idaho. "We try to [point out that] the Wasatch Front is close enough to even come up for dinner and a soak in the hot pools."

The show ends Saturday, running from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and featuring seminars and entertainers. For information, go to www.morrismurdock.com/expo.


Twitter: @tribtomwharton

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