|VISIT FLORIDA Continues Tradition of Success at 46th Annual IPW|
VISIT FLORIDA continued its tradition of success at the 46th annual U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow (IPW) held last week in Chicago. IPW is the travel industry’s premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the United States. The three-day event welcomed 6,200 delegates from the U.S. and 70 other countries, including 1,400 international and domestic buyers and 500 media.
At IPW, buyers and sellers are able to conduct business through pre-scheduled business appointments that would otherwise be generated only through an exhaustive number of around-the-world trips. This year’s business negotiations are expected to result in more than $4.7 billion in future U.S. travel.
VISIT FLORIDA brought in our international representatives from China, India, Latin America, Germany & the UK to IPW who had full schedules again this year during the three days of intensive pre-scheduled appointments. The appointments provided staff an opportunity to discuss what’s new in Florida, as well as register buyers for a chance to win a complimentary registration to Florida Huddle. Huddle is VISIT FLORIDA’s annual owned and operated appointment trade show that will take place this coming January 14-16 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale.
In addition to VISIT FLORIDA’s International team having a full schedule of appointments on the trade show floor, our Public Relations team met with more than 50 international and domestic travel writers in the Media Marketplace. The PR team pitched story angles, destinations throughout the state and introduced Partners to longtime journalist friends from around the globe. VISIT FLORIDA’s President and CEO Will Seccombe was interviewed by the UK editor of TravelMole while at IPW on future plans to attract tourists. Florida was also selected as the state to be highlighted in the IPW Daily final wrap up edition coming out later this month.
As part of IPW, VISIT FLORIDA served as one of five co-sponsors for the Wednesday luncheon. Taking full advantage of the opportunity to theme our section “Florida’s Playground,” VISIT FLORIDA reached out to our attraction Marketing Partners and offered them an opportunity to display a small toy representing their company as part of the table centerpieces, as well as donate prizes that were featured during the interactive game portion of the luncheon. Special thanks to our attraction partners who contributed to making the decorations and game time such a huge success – and helped garner a great deal of positive attention for Florida.
International markets are an integral part of VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing efforts, with Florida welcoming nearly 15 million Canadian and overseas visitors in 2013 who spent more than $16 billion. Given the growth and competitive environment in all international travel, IPW remains an important opportunity for VISIT FLORIDA to reach this increasingly vital visitor market.
The Sunshine State will serve as back-to-back hosts for upcoming IPWs, with next year’s event being held in Orlando, May 30-June 3, and in Miami in 2016. To learn more about our many international travel trade outreach opportunities, please check out the VISIT FLORIDA Marketing Planner or contact me at tvaughan@VISITFLORIDA.org.
Director, International Sales & Marketing