Published on : Thursday, June 8, 2017
More than 6,400 attendees from 70 countries, including over 1,300 international and domestic travel buyers and a record 530 journalists from the U.S. and abroad, attended the U.S. Travel Association’s 49th annual IPW. The event, which is the single largest generator of international travel to the U.S., convened in Washington, D.C. for the first time in its history, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from June 3-7.
IPW brings travel professionals from every corner of the country—including representatives from destinations, hotels, attractions, sports teams, transportation companies and other travel -related businesses—together with the world’s top international tour operators and wholesalers that send travelers to the U.S.
Over the course of five days, a record of more than 112,000 pre-scheduled meetings were conducted between travel buyers and U.S. travel suppliers (including destinations, hotels and attractions), who purchased nearly 1,300 booths.
According to the independent research firm Rockport Analytics, travel initiated by IPW is expected to bring over $4.7 billion in direct bookings to U.S. destinations from abroad over the next three years.
IPW sent a unified message to all international buyers, media and potential visitors in attendance: “Welcome.” Building on “welcome” campaigns staged by dozens of U.S. destinations and travel businesses in recent weeks, IPW attendees were greeted with “One Big Welcome” imagery all around the show floor. That message was echoed by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in remarks at the event.
Media attendance this year broke IPW records, as a record 530 domestic and international journalists met with destinations, travel businesses and other suppliers to generate stories encouraging international travel to the U.S.
The real payoff from IPW will ripple through the local Washington, D.C. economy for an estimated three years following this year’s event. IPW is expected to generate $1.7 billion in economic impact to the District, and attract more than one million additional visitors to the region during that time.
“IPW is a unique event that brings the world to the U.S. while showcasing the benefits of its host city to thousands of travel buyers and media at once,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “Not only is this year’s gathering an excellent opportunity to drive home our message of welcome, but it’s also a great way to showcase U.S. Travel’s home city of Washington, D.C. as more than just what you see on the news.”