CORNING - Roughly 700 travel industry bloggers and content creators descended onto the Corning Museum of Glass Wednesday for day two of the annual TBEX Travel Blogging Conference.

The conference serves as a massive networking event for industry professionals that places a special emphasis on the host location.

The crowd featured industry professionals from 23 countries throughout the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya and more. They’ve spent the last few days touring the area and experiencing everything that the Corning and Finger Lakes region has to offer.

Laury Ward, President of Finger Lakes Wine Country, said to have these people come into the area for the conference is a huge deal that will do wonders to promote the region to consumers all over the world.

“To have those people come and tell their own story about what they find interesting in this region is huge for us,” said Ward.

And she said the reactions from TBEX attendees has been overwhelmingly positive, almost as if they’ve discovered a hidden gem.

“When you hear wine country, you don’t know that you’ve got the museums, you don’t know that you’ve got the lakes, and you’ve got all of the breweries, distilleries, cideries, amazing culinary scene, history, tradition,” said Ward. “And what we find is, until we bring people here, and they experience it themselves, they don’t realize what we have to offer.”

Cory Lee, who runs Club Free with Cory Lee - a blog about wheelchair-accessible travel - has explored CMoG, downtown Corning, and some of the wineries in Hammondsport in the few days he’s been here.

He said he is pleasantly surprised.

“I love it. It’s really gone past my expectations, and it’s been such a nice area,” Lee said. “Whenever I thought of New York, I thought of New York City and Manhattan. But visiting Corning has really showed me what other beauty there is around the state. It’s a really great place.”

Carol Cain, agency director for Brave World Media, said she first came to the Finger Lakes area in 2008 and has been coming back ever since.

“I think it’s a great area,” she said. “I come from New York City. Being a New Yorker, there’s a lot of misconceptions about what coming upstate is like … and then you come here, and you start drinking, and eating, and you start making friends, and you realize, 'This is not anything like I thought.’”

This is the first year TBEX has been hosted in the Finger Lakes region. Previous locations have included Stockholm, Sweden; Bangkok, Thailand; Huntsville, Ala.; Costa Brava, Spain; Jerusalem; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and Manila, Philippines.

“The area’s awesome; it’s beautiful,” said TBEX CEO Rick Calvert. “We like to find places that have stories to tell, and the Finger Lakes has tons.”

The 2018 conference is sponsored by CMoG and Finger Lakes Wine Country. Wegmans provided the catering for the festivities Wednesday. Conference festivities continue through today, but many attendees are expected to remain in the area for several days afterward.