It could be called the Super Bowl of the tourism industry – where U.S. suppliers of travel compete for the attention of the top tour operators around the world. It’s U.S. Travel Association’s IPW, formerly named International Pow Wow, travel’s premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the U.S. It’s not your typical trade show. This year from May 30 to June 3, IPW will come to Orlando and have the opportunity to showcase Orlando’s latest and greatest.
What is IPW?
In three days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, more than 1,300 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the USA (representing all industry category components), and more than 1,500 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries, conduct business negotiations that result in the generation of more than $4.7 billion in future Visit USA travel. At IPW, buyers and sellers are able to conduct business that would otherwise be generated only through an exhaustive number of around-the-world trips.
IPW is attended by U.S. travel organizations from across the country, as well as international and domestic leisure buyers, international meeting and incentive buyers, international and domestic journalists, International Advisory Committee representatives, Visit USA representatives, U.S. Government Commercial Service representatives and various marketing partners.
With so many representatives in one place, IPW creates the opportunity for organizations to converse and discuss various topics in the industry. Since it is primarily a sales show, most of the conversations are between buyers, seller and destinations, ranging from new attractions and additions to a destination, to the sales of ticket and hotel packages. Visit Orlando, Disney, Universal and SeaWorld all have a large presence, and look to develop stronger relationships with the top packagers from around the world. For media, destinations share news on attractions, dining and entertainment with reporters through one-on-one dialogue during the media day events.
IPW rotates between North American cities each year and was last hosted in Orlando in 2010. The responsibility of Visit Orlando as host holds great weight and influence, primarily to ensure that the thousands of attendees and representatives have an exceptional experience in the destination. Visit Orlando in particular leverages media exposure, staffing the media center to answer questions and sharing destination news. Hosting the Orlando section of the convention show floor, the organization also showcases many of its members.
This year, more than 6,000 attendees are expected to travel to Orlando for IPW, more than 500 international media will be in attendance, and 1,100 exhibitor booths will be showcased. In addition, almost every destination in the U.S. will be represented.
The primary impact of hosting IPW is that it provides attendees with hands-on experience in Orlando, giving them access to all the new attractions, hotels, dining and experiences that make Orlando what it is. Attendees get exclusive access to themed events at the parks, while the media can choose different experiences that Visit Orlando packages exclusively for them.
In the long-term, much of the packaging of travel to Orlando that is sold at the event will occur over the next few years, so having these buyers here is crucial. The better experience they have in Orlando, the more they will sell their clients on Orlando as a destination.
In 2010, IPW attendees received one of the first glimpses into the Universal Studios Harry Potter attractions when it had not yet been opened to the public. Hotels also sell their tickets and room nights to packagers, where salespeople will be negotiating and signing contracts on-site with them.
When IPW comes to Orlando at the end of the month, the region will be buzzing with the latest in tourism, as well as thousands of new visitors – all experiencing what Orlando has to offer.
SHOWCASING ORLANDO TO THE WORLD
At the end of this month, Orlando will welcome more than 6,000 visitors representing the “Who’s Who” of the travel industry.
Our great destination is honored to host this prestigious international event, which hasn’t been to Florida since it was in Orlando in 2010 and won’t be back to the sunshine state for many more years.
The week of IPW is a time when our destination is on full display. Travel buyers from around the world will experience everything from what’s new at our world-class theme parks to the developments along International Drive and even the latest offerings available to visitors in Downtown Orlando.
During show days, tour operators, airline professionals, international travel media and more will meet with Visit Orlando and many of our member companies at the Orange County Convention Center. Before and after the tradeshow, they’ll have the chance to experience the best of Orlando firsthand. And their experience will shape the decisions they make to bring more business and generate greater awareness and excitement for Orlando in the important international marketplace for years ahead.
Orlando has become a true global city that offers an unparalleled visitor experience. As the official tourism association representing all segments of the Tourism industry in Central Florida, Visit Orlando is proud to represent such a dynamic destination that means so much to so many. We look forward to showcasing it to the world in just a few short weeks.
– George Aguel, President & CEO of Visit Orlando