Nearly 4,800 attendees from more than 60 countries gathered in Orlando, Florida, June 4-8 for the 53rd annual IPW—the travel industry's premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the United States.
IPW convened global travel professionals, including U.S. destinations, hotels, attractions, sports teams, cruise lines, airlines and transportation companies, together with international tour operators, buyers and wholesalers from around the world, to meet under one roof—the Orange County Convention Center—for 77,000 scheduled business appointments over three days that will draw future travel and tourism business to the U.S. and facilitate an industrywide recovery in international inbound travel.
The delegation also included nearly 500 members of the international and domestic media. Reporters covered the event itself, and also met with travel business and destination leaders at the Media Marketplace to generate reporting on travel to the U.S.
In a Tuesday press conference, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow noted the significance of IPW in restoring inbound travel to the U.S., but also highlighted barriers that persist—including the pre-departure testing requirement for inbound vaccinated air travelers to the U.S., despite over 40 nations that have now dropped a similar requirement, and excessive interview wait times for visitor visas.
NEW INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL FORECAST
U.S. Travel also released its updated international travel forecast, which projects 65 million international arrivals in 2023 (82% of pre-pandemic levels). The forecast projects that international arrivals and spending will fully recover to 2019 levels by 2025. In an upside scenario, the U.S. could gain an additional 5.4 million visitors and $9 billion in spending by the end of 2022 if the pre-departure testing requirement were removed.
U.S. Travel’s forecast extends to 2026 and also includes an analysis on where inbound travel should be in terms of growth had the pandemic not occurred.
This year’s strong attendance at IPW signals a desire to resume robust inbound travel to the United States.
“This IPW is sending a message that the U.S. is open for business and eager to welcome travelers from around the world,” said Dow. “We are taking a huge step forward here to bring back international travel, restore jobs, and re-establish the bonds that connect our countries and cultures.”
Carnival Cruise Line President and U.S. Travel National Chair Christine Duffy and U.S. Travel Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes also spoke at the U.S. Travel press conference.
IPW also included education opportunities for delegates. IPW Focus, a new program launched in 2021, provided delegates the opportunity to participate in sessions on an array of topics from technology and innovation to research and insights, presented by thought leaders and innovators from around the industry and beyond.
Brand USA returned as premier sponsor of IPW. American Express is the official card of the U.S. Travel Association.
This is the eighth time Orlando has served as host site for IPW—more than any other U.S. city—which last welcomed the global travel event in 2015.
This marked the final IPW led by U.S. Travel’s Dow, who previously announced his departure this summer following a 17-year tenure as president and CEO of the association.
The 54th annual IPW will take place May 20-24, 2023, in San Antonio, the first time the Texas city will serve as IPW host.