As we prepare to gather in Denver May 19-23 for the 50th edition of IPW—the most important event on the inbound tour and travel industry’s calendar—the INBOUND Report shares recollections of and about the event from those who have been a part of IPW (formerly Pow Wow) over the years. This week, we feature the recollections of two veteran tour and travel industry professionals: former Allied Tours executive Michael Fisher, president of Travelenergy and a member of the board of directors of Bonotel Exclusive Travel; and Billie Moser, vice president of international tourism for Travel Portland.
Michael Fisher: “I can go back to my first Pow Wow in 1975 in Boston. Allied Tours (founded by Michael’s father, Stanley, and a progenitor of today’s AlliedTPro) was introducing its Experience America escorted tours program. The symbol on our brochure cover was a cowboy hat. We had the idea to bring about 100 hats to hand out. It would be great to have the delegates walking around with our hats. So, we shipped a few boxes to the convention center and had them stored behind our booth, ready to give out the next day. When we arrived in the morning, they were all gone, and I saw a few of the convention workers wearing the hats, strutting around like cowboys. Every other IPW has some unique memory, and I am looking forward to the next one in Denver.”
Billie Moser: “During the Pow Wows in the mid-1990s, my still very good friend Natalie Inouye and I shared rooms because of our organizations’ small budgets. Natalie and I always got the best rooms. We did not know why. At the time, Senator Daniel Inouye from Hawaii was a very influential member in Congress, especially for our industry. One day, she was asked: ‘Are you related to Senator Inouye?’ And while Natalie is not Hawaiian (her husband is), she said: ‘Oh yes, I’m his niece.’ And the mystery was solved. We surely enjoyed the extravagant fruit baskets, the incredible views from our hotels and wish we could have milked this longer.”