Earlier this week, more than 6,500 delegates from 73 countries, including over 1,300 international and domestic travel buyers and 500 media from the U.S. and abroad, attended the U.S. Travel Association's 47th annual IPW (International Pow Wow), the travel industry's premier international marketplace. The event, the largest single generator of travel to the U.S., convened in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center from May 30 to June 3, 2015.
Over the course of three days, nearly 100,000 pre-scheduled business meetings—a record for IPW—took place between travel buyers and U.S. travel organizations. Travel initiated by IPW is projected to bring 8.8 million international visitors to the United States, $28 billion in total spending, and $4.7 billion in direct bookings to U.S. destinations over the next three years, according to the independent firm Rockport Analytics.
While the immediate projected economic impact for Orlando is $11.6 million, the real payoff of IPW will ripple through the local economy for an estimated three years after, generating an estimated $1.7 billion in direct economic impact and an additional 1 million visitors.
Since IPW was last in Orlando in 2010, there has been significant growth in the number of travel buyers from key international markets, including the United Kingdom (40%), Brazil (30%), Mexico (66%), Germany (17%) and Japan (10%). This year, the Chinese delegation was the largest-ever at 109. Overall, the total delegation at IPW has increased 27 percent compared to Orlando 2010.
"IPW is an extraordinarily unique event, which brings the entire international travel and tourism marketplace to the U.S. in one location," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "The business conducted at IPW will have a tremendous effect, not only on the local economy initially, but several years into the future."
IPW brings together travel professionals from every corner of the country, including representatives of hotels, destinations, attractions, museums, amusement parks and other travel businesses. These groups market themselves to the world's top international tour operators and wholesalers that sell travel to the U.S. 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.