Editor’s Note: Beginning with this issue, the INBOUND Report shares recollections of and about the event from those who were a part of IPW—formerly Pow Wow—over the years. This week’s memory comes from Jorge Herrera, former vice president of tourism for the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, (now Visit Dallas,) who attended the very first IPW in 1969 at the Commodore Hotel in New York City. There were 69 travel suppliers who met with 67 buyers from 10 European countries at the event. At the time, he was director of agency and tour sales for Hilton Hotels. He later worked for Fairmont Hotels before joining the Dallas bureau in 1987. While with Dallas, he was a key part of the team that brought IPW to Dallas in 1988 and again in 2000. He left the CVB several years later, having attended IPW more than 30 times.
“I think that the first Pow Wow was in New York City at the Commodore Hotel in 1969. I can’t tell for sure. At that first Pow Wow we had no idea of what we needed to bring to the meeting … I don´t remember having any group rates or FIT rates. We were just pushing brochures of our hotels. While working at the Fairmont Hotels in Dallas, I pushed and was successful in securing the Pow Wow for Dallas in 1988 and later on while at the bureau we secured the Pow Wow for the year 2000.
“I moved to Cartagena in 2012 and I am now living in Bogota as of a year ago. I am close to my family and am enjoying this stage in my life but I do miss my Dallas and all my friends … I always believed that tourism may be the ultimate opportunity for understanding and World Peace and that the concept of Travel was the Ultimate Freedom.”