IPW brings together the best of the US


More than 6,400 attendees from 70 countries, including over 1,300 international and domestic travel buyers and a record 530 journalists from the US and abroad, attended the US Travel Association's 49th annual IPW.

The event, which is the single largest generator of international travel to the US, convened in Washington, DC for the first time in its history, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from June 3 to 7.

IPW brings travel professionals from every corner of the country – including representatives from destinations, hotels, attractions, sports teams, transportation companies and other travel -related businesses-together with the world's top international tour operators and wholesalers that send travellers to the US.

Over the course of five days, a record of more than 112,000 pre-scheduled meetings were conducted between travel buyers and US travel suppliers (including destinations, hotels and attractions), who purchased nearly 1,300 booths.

According to the independent research firm Rockport Analytics, travel initiated by IPW is expected to bring over $4.7 billion in direct bookings to US destinations from abroad over the next three years.

IPW sent a unified message to all international buyers, media and potential visitors in attendance: "Welcome."

Building on "welcome" campaigns staged by dozens of US destinations and travel businesses in recent weeks, IPW attendees were greeted with "One Big Welcome" imagery all around the show floor. That message was echoed by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in remarks at the event.

Media attendance this year broke IPW records, as a record 530 domestic and international journalists met with destinations, travel businesses and other suppliers to generate stories encouraging international travel to the US.

The real payoff from IPW will ripple through the local Washington, D.C. economy for an estimated three years following this year's event. IPW is expected to generate $1.7 billion in economic impact to the district, and attract more than one million additional visitors to the region during that time.

"IPW is a unique event that brings the world to the US while showcasing the benefits of its host city to thousands of travel buyers and media at once," said US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "Not only is this year's gathering an excellent opportunity to drive home our message of welcome, but it's also a great way to showcase US Travel's home city of Washington, D.C. as more than just what you see on the news."



Brand USA – the nation's destination-marketing organisation – will be creating personalized, video welcome messages for travellers who are considering trips to the United States. The messages are the centrepiece of Brand USA's “One Big Welcome” project.

Brand USA launched the project at IPW, attendees who stopped by Brand USA's exhibition space could create their own video welcome messages with an on-site production crew. After the videos are edited into short segments, Brand USA plans to share them with media outlets during IPW and post them on a variety of digital and social platforms including

Through the summer, Brand USA will invite its destination partners and other travel-industry partners to produce additional video messages that welcome prospective travellers to the United States. Participants will draw on their own experiences and recommendations for places to visit – whether it's a local eatery, a popular nightspot, or even a favourite historical attraction.



In 2016, visitors to New Orleans spent $7.41 billion dollars, a 5.1 per cent increase compared to the visitor spending record set in 2015, and the city hosted a record-breaking 10.45 million visitors, the highest since 2004 and a 6.9 per cent increase compared to 2015.

The strategy to attract quality visitors and to continue to grow as an international destination include the announcements of two direct flights from Europe to New Orleans beginning in 2017. Condor Airlines will begin a seasonal direct flight from Frankfurt, Germany to New Orleans and British Airways will begin a direct flight from London to New Orleans in 2017. Each of these flights will connect New Orleans to more than 120 destinations in Europe and beyond. Last year, visitors stayed for an average of 4.0 nights and spent an average of $231 per person, per day. Most visitors (28.5 per cent) travel to New Orleans during the second quarter of the year, which can be related to Jazz Fest, French Quarter Fest, and conventions.



NYC and Company presented new destination updates and highlights of the “New” New York City at IPW. NYC and Company president and CEO Fred Dixon and SVP global communications Chris Heywood outlined new developments and story ideas in the city's hotels, infrastructure, attractions, arts and culture, and more. “The 'New' New York City – and Midtown Manhattan in particular – is experiencing a period of momentous growth with ground-breaking developments,” said NYC & Company president and CEO Fred Dixon. “We are proud to be back at IPW this year, showcasing the many reasons visitors should choose the City's five boroughs now for their next holiday.”

Dixon also highlighted the organisation's international communications and marketing initiative titled, “New York City – Welcoming the World,” reinforcing the destination's diversity and welcoming spirit. New York City has the most active hotel development pipeline in the country, with 113,000 hotel rooms as of May 2017 and an expected inventory of 137,000 hotel rooms by 2019.



Disneyland Resort has announced the addition of a luxury hotel to their Anaheim collection. The 700-room, AAA Four Diamond hotel will offer many luxury amenities including two pools, a fitness centre, concierge service and a kid's play area. Construction begins in 2018 with a slated 2021 opening.

JW Marriott comes to Anaheim: The first Four Diamond hotel outside of the Disneyland Resort will be built adjacent to the Anaheim GardenWalk, located in the heart of the Anaheim Resort district. The 12-storey $150 million property will have 466 guest rooms as well as meeting space for large groups.

Anaheim's first Westin property Element by Westin, will open in summer 2018 in the Anaheim Resort district. The five-story, 174-room hotel will offer a pool deck with barbecues and lounge chairs, suites and studio rooms, and a fitness centre.

Disneyland is adding a new feature to its FastPass system later this year. Unlimited PhotoPass image downloads and the ability to add a FastPass via the park's app. For $10 a day, annual pass holders will have the chance to buy the feature on a daily or yearly basis.

Main Street Electrical Parade returns to Disneyland Resort until August 20, 2017. The nightly parade will make its way down Main Street with the original floats from 1996.

Star Wars experience comes to life. Disneyland's Star Wars-themed expansion is currently under construction set to open in 2019. The single largest themed expansion to date, the Star Wars-themed land will feature two jaw-dropping signature attractions, a thrilling battle experience and an adventure aboard the Millennium Falcon space ship.



It’s an exciting time at Universal Studios Hollywood as the #1 tourist destination in Los Angeles introduces compelling new theme park attractions and noteworthy new Universal CityWalk establishments.

With DreamWorks Animation’s recent acquisition, Universal Studios Hollywood will soon roll out the red carpet for a unique, never before seen DreamWorks Theatre attraction. Opening in 2018, this newly designed venue will play host to a variety of action-packed DreamWorks Animation themed attractions beginning with the multi-sensory adventure inspired by the global blockbuster franchise Kung Fu Panda, and created in partnership with Universal Creative and DreamWorks’ Artists.

This new technologically advanced attraction will take guests on a legendary journey that fuses captivating storytelling with state-of-the art projection mapping and LED lighting effects for a highly engaging and immersive, unstoppable-awesome experience.

Hello Kitty, the beloved global pop icon created by the Japanese company Sanrio, joins Universal Studios Hollywood in 2018. Hello Kitty and her signature red bow, along with more Sanrio friends including My Melody, Keroppi, and Chococat, will be featured on park-exclusive merchandise.



Launching late 2017, the Flyer San Francisco is going to offer visitors to San Francisco an amazing new visual introduction to the City by the Bay. This heart-pounding adventure will feature a 28-seat flying theatre with a massive movie screen and the newest 3D technology to showcase San Francisco like never before! Located in Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco right at the entrance to Pier 39, next to the Hard Rock Cafe and the Aquarium by the Bay.

Labelled by USA Today one of the 10 "most anticipated theme park attractions in the United States for 2017," The Flyer is going to take guests on a thrilling aerial journey over San Francisco's stunning skyline, the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, and Alcatraz Island – all rolled into a storyline that embraces the fun and creative spirit of San Francisco.

With a seating capacity of 28 guests in its flying theater and a total capacity of 84 guests every 25 minutes, the Flyer will be an activity that's compatible with both FITs and groups. Furthermore, no English skills are required, so guests from around the world will be able to enjoy this exciting and fun adventure for all ages.



Aventura Mall centrally located in the heart of South Florida, minutes from Miami and Fort Lauderdale International Airports is Miami’s premier fashion destination, and one of the most visited malls in the

With six anchor department stores including Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Macy’s, Aventura Mall boasts 300 specialty stores, ranging from chic, internationally renowned names such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Gucci and Givenchy, to many of the most popular and recognized retailers, including Apple, Anthropologie, Michael Kors, H&M, and Urban Outfitters.

International and domestic visitors receive access to benefits, special savings and promotions through the exclusive Aventura Mall Rewards program. To access Aventura Mall Rewards, guests present their ID at the Visitor Center, located near the Apple store. In addition, the Visitor Center’s multilingual ambassadors guide visitors through their shopping experience and assist with everything from the latest store offers, personalized shopping experiences, currency exchange and more.



Caesars Entertainment announced a $90 million complete renovation of 1,270 rooms at Flamingo Las Vegas. The renovation will begin in late August 2017, with the first guest arrivals expected in November 2017, and final completion of all rooms expected in the second quarter of 2018.  

The fully renovated rooms will feature unique, contemporary and retro-chic designs with accents that celebrate Flamingo's rich history as the centrepiece of the Las Vegas Strip. Designed by Forrest Perkins, the rooms were inspired to sparkle like glitter and shine like champagne, with vibrant hues of gold and bright pops of flamingo pink, keeping true to the property's character and charisma.

In 2016, Caesars Entertainment upgraded more than 4,800 rooms at four of its Las Vegas resorts, including Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood Resort, Paris Las Vegas and Harrah's Las Vegas.  By the end of this year, more than 50% of Las Vegas rooms at Caesars properties will have been upgraded since 2014, demonstrating the company's commitment to providing the best experience possible for its guests.