Louisiana was well represented at IPW 2017 in Washington, D.C.
One of the most important annual travel industry events just wrapped and the Louisiana tourism industry was there in force to draw international travelers in advance of New Orleans’ Tricentennial.
The Louisiana Office of Tourism and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau(NOCVB) recently returned from the U.S. Travel Association’s 49th IPW in Washington, D.C., June 3-7, where they participated along with more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations.
IPW, which was held in New Orleans in 2016, this year brought more than 6,400 international travel buyers, domestic and international media and U.S. suppliers together for more than 112,000 total business appointments. Rather than wandering a showroom floor, these preplanned business appointments drive more than $4.7 billion dollars in future travel to the United States from the more than 70 countries represented.
IPW 2017 took place in Washington, D.C., for the first time with the theme “One Big Welcome,” expressing that America is open for business to the world.
New Orleans is currently experiencing a positive impact from hosting IPW in 2016. According to IPW, we are still in the ripple effect that occurs for three years after hosing the conference and we are looking forward to IPW’s estimated direct economic impact on Greater New Orleans of more than $1.7 billion, with more than 1 million international visitors by 2018.
According to Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, “The most recent numbers show international visitation to our state has seen an increase of 37 percent. International visitation is a contributing factor in tourism for the state of Louisiana bringing a return on investment of $40 for every $1 spent.”
The Louisiana Office of Tourism and NOCVB capitalized on that ripple effect this year at IPW 2017 by being the focus of a news conference in front of the largest showing of international media in IPW history and hosting booths on the show floor. The hundreds of media attending the press conference were wined and dined with traditional New Orleans food, drinks and jazz music. The news conference covered new international direct flights, the airport expansion, new hotel developments, restaurants, attractions and city projects that have debuted in New Orleans since IPW 2016, as well as New Orleans’ Tricentennial in 2018.
Some of the biggest news to come out of the conference was the confirmation of British Airways that the direct flight linking London to New Orleans will fly five days per week year-round, replacing the four days per week trial period. As a trusted international airline, British Airways’ vote of confidence in New Orleans bodes well for prospective international flight growth out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
“IPW is the Super Bowl of the travel industry and we welcomed the world to experience our city firsthand last year,” said NOCVB president and CEO Stephen Perry. “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to continue the momentum in Washington D.C. and share all of the remarkable new developments we have had since they came last year — new direct international flights from London and Frankfurt, a new airport under construction, new hotel developments and so much more.”
Perry added, “We continue to receive great feedback, media coverage and bookings from all over the world. We will see business from IPW for years to come and the value of our team’s work to continue to build on these relationships shows in our growth of international visitors.”