IPW To Bring $1.2B, 500K Tourists To New Orleans
New Orleans will host IPW 2016, the U.S. Travel Association’s largest trade show and generator of U.S. travel, between Saturday, June 18, and Wednesday, June 22, 2016, for more than 6,400 delegates from 73 countries at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
There are 100,000 pre-scheduled business meetings planned for more than 1,300 international travel buyers and 500 international media professionals with U.S. travel organizations.
According to Rockport Analytics, travel initiated by IPW is projected to bring $28 billion in total spending and $4.7 billion in direct bookings to U.S. destinations over the next three years from 8.8 million international visitors.
Locally, IPW’s ripple effect is projected to generate an economic impact of $1.7 billion and an additional one million international visitors to Louisiana and $1.2 billion and 500,000 additional international visitors to New Orleans in the next 3 years.
"Our timing for hosting IPW could not be better,” New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Stephen Perry said. “Hosting this critical international travel conference fits perfectly with our plans for promoting New Orleans’ Tricentennial in 2018. The combination of hosting IPW this year and marketing the Tricentennial globally in the next couple of years will result in hundreds of millions of new dollars of international capital flowing into New Orleans and Louisiana.”
“I am excited about the opportunity IPW 2016 will bring to not only the city of New Orleans, but to our entire state,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Our office will host seven post-event familiarization tours with participants. We will put them among American alligators in scenic cypress swamp and Gulf coastal marsh habitats, on the grounds of majestic antebellum plantation mansions dotting the lower Mississippi River valley, in museums and cultural attractions telling our diverse stories, and in walkable small-town downtowns offering great shopping and the works of native artists, craftsmen and even local craft brewers and distillers. The participants will be able to hear our diverse stories that make Louisiana so special.”
IPW’s international marketplace brings the entire international travel and tourism marketplace to the U.S. in one location. Travel professionals from every corner of the nation, including international attendees, local product managers, representatives of hotel chains, rental car companies, destinations, attractions, museums, amusement parks and other travel businesses, will market themselves to the world's top international tour operators and wholesalers that sell travel to the U.S.
Attendees will run the gamut from Alaska Air to Zoo Miami.
“One of the major objectives of IPW is spotlighting the economic benefits of travel and tourism,” U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said. “Few states understand that equation as well as Louisiana. Louisiana epitomizes the idea of rolling out the red carpet for your guests. We are thrilled that IPW's exhibitors and attendees will be able to experience this utterly distinctive American destination again.”
New Orleans previously hosted the annual five-day IPW in 2002, 1993 and 1979.
“It’s been a tough decade for global travel and tourism,” Malcolm Smith, General Manager of IPW said. “But it’s good timing for the city. New Orleans looks amazing and the revitalization of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina has been incredible.”
Smith said with the Tricentennial coming up and the new airport expansion breaking ground, it’s the ideal time to bring international travelers back to the city.
“New Orleans’ strength and mystique resonates internationally,” he said. “The city and state have good brand awareness. Although international travelers are not always up to date on brand awareness, they still think of New Orleans in terms of Hurricane Katrina, but when the delegates and attendees see New Orleans and the revitalization, they’ll see evidence of a city teaming with energy and life.”
Smith said one of the biggest drawbacks of New Orleans travel is its airlift. He said the limited amount of international carriers to come through the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is an obstacle for the international crowd, but with the expansion of Copa Airlines, and the recent announcement that Condor Airlines will be offering nonstop flights to and from Frankfurt, Germany, that challenge is not insurmountable.
“Plus, the international market stays longer than domestic travellers,” Smith said. “They’re usually here for 2 to 3 weeks, which means they visit several cities and states and the airlift issue is not as big a problem, if they can’t fly direct.”
Smith said the Top 5 delegations attending IPW 2016 are ones from the UK, China, Brazil, Canada and Germany.
“We’re looking forward to our best show ever and a chance for New Orleans and Louisiana to gain even bigger visibility,” Smith said.
Tours taking place after the convention are also a part of the experience the Louisiana State Office of Tourism is planning for the media attending IPW. From outdoor adventures and culinary experiences to explorations of the state’s various cities and picturesque towns, international and domestic media will be given a sample of the state’s top offerings and opportunities for visitors to expand their Louisiana experience in areas outside of New Orleans including the Northshore, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Houma, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe.
The U.S. Travel Association, owner and operator of IPW, is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 15 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.