By Bruce Northam

Keynote Speaker


STREET ANTHROPOLOGY: A Veteran Travel Writer’s Guide to Branding Tourism in 100 Countries

Keynote speaker Bruce Northam delivers whistleblower interventions for the travel industry.

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Comprehending that keynote speakers are the DJs of the business world and hailed as a writer who “pops the top off objective travel writing” and “live(s) up to the adage that travel writers fear boredom more than death” by Time International, award-winning author and travel show host Bruce Northam has reported from 125 countries, 50 States, every Canadian Province and territory…and atop both Poles. He stands on an uncommon perch to analyze the tourism industry’s trends, marketing inventions and fads. A popular presenter on campuses and Governor’s Tourism Conferences, he enlightens travel-minded devotees with profit-making ideas and what global travelers are truly seeking with an entertaining multimedia compilation of facts, lore, videos, images, tales, and show-and-tell.

“Bruce is a great storyteller. His unique style grabs the audience, gets them laughing and inspires everyone to consider strolling coast-to-coast across Britain with their dad…or somewhere.” – Scott Flaherty, former I LOVE NEW YORK Media Coordinator

A 25-year veteran of the industry and the author of Globetrotter Dogma: 100 Canons for Escaping the Rat Race & Exploring the World, In Search of Adventure: A Wild Travel Anthology, and The Frugal Globetrotter, Northam shares his road-tested brand of street anthropology to deliver innovative ways to re-brand travel in more than 100 nations using a humorous A-Z country flash of recommendations.

From the practical to travel’s wild essence, Northam bounces from industry realities to stories of drifting with Burma’s sea gypsies, introducing Frisbee to a naked Irian Jayan tribe, hitchhiking across Ireland with his mother (in style), and walking coast-to-coast across England with his father, four times. His uplifting, down-to-earth maxims inspire curious ‘marketeers’, the business of roaming, and LIFE.

True: the travel industry is the world’s biggest employer providing approximately 235 million jobs, employing one out of every 12 people directly or indirectly. Take that, oil, technology, and auto industries. Don’t get left behind.

“…an intriguing and valuable guest speaker at any institution.” – University of Virginia

Keynote speaker Bruce Northam suggests that on any journey, the first thing we pack is ourselves.

Northam explores what the motivated traveler loves, hate, brags about, and lies about – and, what makes them open their wallets, commit to trips, and spend blindly while on the road. He also revalidates non computerized social trends, because it can’t all be about mobile gadgetry.

Many folks call themselves travel experts these days, but there’s more to tourism advising than miles flown, cruise ship dockings, and elite airline status. This keynote speaker, panelist, and workshop host understands that a humorous picture is worth a thousand ads. From Antarctica to rural Louisiana, Northam discusses this industry from the mindset of budget-minded roamers to ultra-luxury hedonists – and what they have in common. The Q&A epilogue arms travel professionals with strategies for exploring new ways to perceive profiting from the world of travel.

A Sample of Northam’s Presentation Topics:

TRAVEL TRIBES: Identifying the Seven Types of Traveler Mindsets

MORTALITY FLASH: What seminal moment convinces consumers to book plane tickets and commit to destinations?

THE AMATEUR EXPERT BOOM: Profiting from mission-based and hobby-focused travel.


TAPPING EMERGING MARKETS by analyzing the always-evolving backpacker trail.

REINVENTING destination marketing slogans – creating ads instead of chasing them.

LESSONS FROM THE ROAD: “Directions to Happiness” & Collected World Wisdom.

TRAVEL WRITERS: What makes them tick…and pen the best stories? The truth about travel journalism, travel media press trips, and junkets.

FLUFF: What do the high-end hotels frequently get wrong?

LEAN AND GREEN: The Carbon Footprint Factor – isn’t there more to being green than recycling towels?

CHARITABLE PR: Luring tourist dollars to where they’re needed most.

NAVIGATING the social media model without spending your life on a computer by redefining the blog; word-of-mouth.

CAPITALIZING ON YOUR BEST OFFERINGS: which countries do it well, and which ones don’t.

MARKETING STRATEGIES in the Climate of Terrorism and Airline Dysfunction.

TRAVEL INDUSTRY CONFERENCES and travel writing associations – are they worthwhile?

AVOIDING DANGER on the travel marketing road…and by ‘country counting’.

ELUDING the “Ugly Tourist” Syndrome – if everyone is now ‘off-the-beaten-path’, does it still exist?

CONCOCTING a destination marketing trend.

TRAVEL DOS AND DON’TS (including clothing, packing and tourism convention dos and don’ts.)

WHAT would MARK TWAIN and HENRY DAVID THOREAU, America’s pioneering travel writers, think about modern tourism?

* * *

Northam’s road-tested hour-long global odyssey presentation on campuses (reviews follow) has evolved into a conference keynote hit. His Street Lessons are culled from 25 years of assignments in 125 countries and his goal as an enduring travel columnist is to eventually showcase what really matters in every nation.

Bruce Northam is the writer/host of American Detour. His books include Globetrotter Dogma, In Search of Adventure, and The Frugal Globetrotter. His show, American Detour, tracks the lifestyle of a travel writer.

* * *

KEYNOTE PRAISE for Bruce Northam: What America’s future (colleges and universities) said about Bruce’s appearance…

“Ingenious methods to grasp hold of an enormous range of traveling opportunities . . . well-organized, entertaining and vibrantly clear, offering information that immediately elicited a positive response . . . an intriguing and valuable guest speaker at any institution.” -University of Virginia

“Bruce Northam rocks! … This guy is exciting, fun, and full of enough information to get anyone interested in truly enjoying life . . . shows us that we’re only confined to the extent that we limit our dreams . . . incredible slide-show . . . humorous . . . motivating . . . This guy needs to hit every college campus in the nation.” -University of Tulsa

“Wonderful presentation… people around here are still talking about it.” -Rutgers University

“Insightful . . . Excellent program . . . adventures that are available to everyone with an open mind . . . highly recommend [his] program to other campus organizations.” -NC State

“It was obvious that his presentation was enjoyed … informative and funny and very knowledgeable … fast paced … Any SAB looking for a fun program should book Bruce Northam.” -Oklahoma State University

“Lecture was both fun and informative . . . everyone who went thoroughly enjoyed it. You inspired a lot of people to go out and explore the world as you have done.” -University of the Pacific

“Envious of your energy and enthusiasm. The students appreciated your vitality, but particularly responded to your varied interests evidenced by your travel experiences and your practical advice. In your presentations there is wit, humor, and a sly commentary on life.” -Lynchburg College

* * *

MEDIA PRAISE for Bruce Northam…

“This collection of travel tales doesn’t just push the envelope; it shreds it.” -San Francisco Examiner

“…an engrossing read. And, for anyone who has ever dreamed of escape or imagined a wilder existence, this refreshing and sometimes over the top compilation will not disappoint.” –

“…100 pithy travel stories … tales that are smart, funny and even risque.” -National Geographic Traveler

“…the wanderlust-addicted writers of these exciting travel essays, undergo physical challenges and life-changing insights as they explore seldom-visited places … zany, enthusiastic adventurers and hippie journalists push travel writing far beyond Sunday supplement fare.” – Boston Herald

“…pops the top off objective travel writing . . . live(s) up to the adage that travel writers fear boredom more than death.” -TIME Int’l

“Anything can happen when you travel. And in the new anthology, ‘In Search of Adventure,’ just about everything does … dozens of writers share 100 amazing tales and take you to places you might never go. The book celebrates the wild side of travel.” -New York Post

“Roughing It: The rough and ready contributors would probably eat their luggage before they’d pack a velvet tea gown or shooting tweeds. If they have luggage at all this is the crowd that travels with a toothbrush, a pair of jeans and a passport. They’re an eclectic crew of adventurers…” -Washington Post

“…a collection of extraordinary memories, memories that conjure our own most moving journeys and make us hunger for more.” -Salon Magazine

“Body and soul are individually served.” -Publisher’s Weekly

“…be entertained, enlightened, and sometimes shocked by these honest slices of life on the road.” -Travel Weekly

“Lovers of storytelling and anyone looking for summer vacation inspiration shouldn’t miss this.” -San Francisco Bay Guardian

“The anthology is a fresh, irreverent look at international travel, and delves into areas often glossed over, including experiences with crime, sex, and religious fraud.” -San Francisco Chronicle

“…an offbeat look at saving while seeing … delving into subjects such as endangered paradises and women traveling alone … lots of practical advice.” -Boston Globe

“Traveling is like sex. The more you know and the more often you do it, the better you get. And as with sex manuals, there’s no shortage of travel books on the shelves, but most aren’t worth your time. We found (one) worth recommending: The Frugal Globetrotter” -Men’s Health

“For more cheap travel ideas, read The Frugal Globetrotter.” -Mademoiselle

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One Response

  1. Scott & Jake MacMillan

    We both had the pleasure of graduating from LC in 1985. Bruce, an my old friend Andy Sibray told me years ago you were well known in the travel industry, writing travel guides pre internet. We just received Lynchburg monthly magazine and saw you were being recognized for your new writings.
    We are both so excited for you Bruce! Way to go; and way to share your enjoyment of life. We will be reading your writings with great anticipation. If every in Richmond Va please look us up, plenty of room and the door always open.
    Best Regards
    Carolyn “Jake” Hess MacMillan
    Scott MacMillan
    Class of 85

    March 10, 2015 at 12:56 am

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