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Why IPW is a big deal for Colorado tourism

International Pow Wow is the U.S. travel industry’s most prestigious international marketplace event and will be held in Denver on May 19-23, 2018. This long-established event is the largest generator of international travel to the United States.

Host cities of IPW typically see an increase of more than 700,000 international visitors and $1.7 billion in international tourism revenue in the three years following IPW. Hosting IPW puts a destination on the center stage of global tourism, and if well-executed, the economic and image benefits are substantial.

The event annually moves around the country and was last held in Denver in 1991. The host organization is Visit Denver, Colorado’s leading convention and visitors bureau, and planning has been in the works for the last several years. The Durango Area Tourism Office (DATO) annually attends IPW and has been an active participant in the 2018 planning process. This year, IPW was held in Washington D.C. and Durango Tourism was present. In the next few months, the DATO sales team will assemble a working team of local tourism representatives to plan Durango’s strategy to maximize our presence and assure a positive return on our involvement.

IPW exposes host cities and states to more than 6,000 delegates including 1,000 U.S. travel organizations and nearly 1,300 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries.

In addition, nearly 600 journalists from across the globe attend IPW each year, generating invaluable domestic and international media coverage for the host city and state. Durango will be present at media functions and will host post-event media visits.

Granted, the host city is Denver and the red carpet will be out to showcase Downtown Denver, the Colorado Convention Center, Red Rocks and the many great attractions up and down the Front Range. But the allure and cache of the real Colorado experience will dominate because the state is so rich with world-class attractions and resorts, national parks and monuments, scenic by-ways, Western and Native American heritage, cultural assets, historic mining towns and of course unsurpassed Rocky Mountain scenery ... all of which will be showcased and aggressively promoted to world travel producers. In fact, the global brand exposure generated by IPW would equal the purchase of tourism advertising in more than 70 countries.

The real sales work will take place over several days in tradeshow format, where travel and group organizers meet with destination representatives to gather information, rates and build itineraries. Much of the interaction comes down to relationship building at industry luncheons, hosted evening events, pre- and post-familiarization trips, and media functions.

So yes, the 2018 IPW will be a big deal for Denver, for Colorado, and for destinations like Durango. We’ll be well prepared and committed to representing the best of our tourism industry on a world tourism stage. We’ve got this covered.

director@durango.org. Bob Kunkel is executive director of the Durango Area Tourism Office.