Vail Valley Partnership CEO: The International Pow Wow in Denver is a big deal for the state (column) |

Vail Valley Partnership CEO: The International Pow Wow in Denver is a big deal for the state (column)

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

IPW is an annual U.S. Travel Association marketplace, widely known as the “Super Bowl of international tourism in the U.S.,” bringing more than 6,000 tourism industry delegates including nearly 1,300 international and domestic buyers and 500 journalists from more than 70 countries.

Catalyst for Tourism

Colorado will be hosting the IPW this month for the first time in 27 years. It will bring travel buyers, suppliers and media together for three days of intensive business appointments. IPW is the catalyst for a significant amount of international inbound tourism to the U.S.

Analysis on the value and economic impact of IPW shows that the annual event delivers significant dividends for the U.S. and the host city. The study, conducted by Rockport Analytics, reveals that business conducted at IPW will generate $4.7 billion in future travel to the U.S., bringing 8.8 million international visitors — a powerful effect that rivals that of other high-impact national events including the Super Bowl.

Significant Increase

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 the event. Hosting IPW puts a destination on the center stage of global tourism, and if well-executed, then the economic and image benefits are substantial. The global brand exposure generated by IPW would be the equivalent of paying for tourism advertising in more than 70 countries.

The show will take over the Colorado Convention Center, where 100,000 20-minute business appointments will occur over the three-day event, and for many delegates, IPW is the business networking event of the year.

Consider: Denver International Airport will offer non-stop flights to 26 international destinations in 2018, and IPW generates new international tourism demand for host cities that could potentially help to stimulate demand for new non-stop international flights from key markets. Vail and Beaver Creek benefit when Denver adds international flight service, as our resorts have world-wide brand recognition.

Vail Valley Partnership — along with lodging partners — will attend to promote our valley to this influential audience during the trade show. We’re also fortunate to partner with Visit Denver to host planners for a post-event familiarization trip to the valley. We’ll be spotlighting the community with a variety of activities including bike rides, fly-fishing clinics and demonstrations, and an Art in Public Places tour. We’ll also be showcasing our venues including the Betty Ford Alpine Garden and Colorado Snowsports Museum, and attendees will be treated to an Oktoberfest celebration. Beaver Creek will also be showcased, with guests attending the Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival event.

There is simply no single greater opportunity for us to showcase the Denver and Colorado tourism brands on a global stage, and we plan to put our best foot forward. IPW brings the world to us and gives us direct access to an international audience we could not reach otherwise. IPW inspires global travel to Denver and Colorado by flying 6,000 international travel industry VIPs from 70 countries to come experience the best our city and state have to offer.

Thank you to Visit Denver for its tourism leadership, and for stakeholders around Colorado putting out the welcome mat to this important group.

Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at

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