International travel convention begins in Las Vegas — a model for other shows

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas and the U.S. Travel Association are kicking off the city’s first international trade show since the start of the pandemic.

The U.S. Travel Association’s IPW has been overhauled as it brings together travel exhibitors, travel buyers, journalists and government representatives from across the globe.

This year’s convention is relying heavily on appointments for convention-goers as they come to the convention floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall. Registration was Saturday and Sunday, and now people are getting down to the business of travel.

Organizers describe the IPW show’s mission as “connecting U.S. travel exhibitors with travel buyers and media to promote their product and negotiate future business, securing America’s position as a foremost global travel destination and showcasing the best of what the U.S. has to offer.”

Past shows have generated more than $5 billion in future travel, according to the IPW website.

The Las Vegas show will get to see about $467 million of that.

“This year our attendance is about half,” said Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association president and CEO.

“Usually there’s about 6,000. We’ll have about 3,000 … 300 of the biggest travel buyers from around the world,” Dow said.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says international travel has been closed to Las Vegas for the past 18 months or so.

“They are 15% or more of our visitors in any given year,” according to Steve Hill, LVCVA president and CEO.

“When they come, they tend to spend 50% or 60% more than a domestic traveler, so the 15% visitation becomes 20% or 25% of what is spent here in Las Vegas,” Hill said.

So bringing the international traveler back to Las Vegas matters a lot.

Modifications to this year’s IPW show will be a model to help restart international travel and shows.

Since we are still fighting our way through a pandemic, the show requires attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of check-in.

The show’s presence is a positive after the National Broadcasters Association canceled their October meeting, choosing to wait for April of next year.

Coming up in the next few weeks, big conventions are scheduled to hit Las Vegas. Those include the International Wireless Communications Expo at the end of September. And in October, more big shows are scheduled: the American Rental Association, NHS Las Vegas 2021 — a national hardware show — and the National Business Aviation Association Convention.

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