The U.S. Travel Association's international travel show, IPW 2017, finishes up today at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. "One Big Welcome" was the theme for the event, which attracted more than 6,400 attendees from 70 countries, including more than 1,300 international and domestic travel buyers, and a record 530 journalists from the U.S. and abroad. According to the independent research firm Rockport Analytics, travel initiated by IPW could bring more than $4.7 billion in direct bookings to U.S. destinations from abroad over the next three years.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, sitting on top of a double-decker bus, according to the Washington Business Journal, reprised her high-school summer job as a tour guide to kick off the five-day convention, ducking just in time to avoid hitting her head on a tree branch. "Rule number 1," she joked at the time, "don't kill the mayor."
IPW is the single largest generator of international travel to the U.S. and features representatives from destinations, hotels, attractions, sports teams, transportation companies and other travel-related businesses, as well as international tour operators and wholesalers that send travelers to the U.S. This is the first time the show, which is in its 49th year, has been held in the nation's capital. A record of more than 112,000 appointments were prescheduled before the event began on June 3. Exhibitors set up nearly 1,300 booths.
According to U.S. Travel, IPW also is expected to generate $1.7 billion in economic impact to the District, and attract more than 1 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 Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "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."
The 50th IPW will be held in Denver, Colo., May 19-23, 2018.