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Published on : Wednesday, July 20, 2016
VISIT FLORIDA recently participated in U.S. Travel Association’s 48th Annual IPW held in New Orleans. This event, which is the largest single generator of travel to the U.S., brings travel professionals from every corner of the country—including representatives of hotels, destinations, attractions, museums, amusement parks and other travel businesses—together with the world’s top international tour operators and wholesalers that send travelers to the U.S.
IPW 2016 welcomed more than 6,000 attendees from 73 countries, including 1,280 international and domestic travel buyers and 500 media from the U.S. and abroad. In addition to the robust number of delegates from the UK, Canada, Mexico, Germany and France, this year’s IPW saw tremendous growth in delegates from China, Taiwan, South Korea, Chile and Colombia.
Over the course of five days, a record of more than 105,000 pre-scheduled business meetings were conducted between travel buyers and U.S. travel supplier organizations. Florida was well represented with a huge presence on the trade show floor. In addition to increasing our booth size from last year, VISIT FLORIDA brought in a strong contingent of our international representatives from China, India, Latin America, Germany and the UK. The entire International team conducted more than 220 pre-scheduled appointments, which provided staff with an opportunity to bring tour operators and other travel trade up-to-date on what’s new in Florida and to discuss opportunities for working together to bring more visitors to the Sunshine State.
Through our partnership with Emeril Lagasse, VISIT FLORIDA coordinated a signature event around IPW that was held at one of his casual and funky eateries, Nola’s Restaurant in the heart of the French Quarter. More than 330 travel trade, media, Florida suppliers and buyers attended the “Florida Night at Nola’s” event. As one of our Florida ambassadors, Emeril was on hand to greet attendees and meet with media. Many thanks to our Partners who co-sponsored the event: Experience Kissimmee, the Greater Miami CVB, Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Visit Tampa Bay and Visit Sarasota.
VISIT FLORIDA’s Public Relations team was busy as well, holding 43 media appointments and facilitating executive interviews with international and domestic trade and consumer writers in the IPW Media Marketplace. The PR team also held a separate exclusive event for 17 media prior to “Florida Night at Nola’s” that offered a more personal opportunity for Emeril, our staff and Partners to speak at length with this smaller group of hand-selected writers.