When the international buyers and suppliers of the U.S. travel experience gather together May 30-June 3 in Las Vegas for the 52nd edition of IPW, they’ll be taking part in an event and a community that shows what a city can do to make IPW work, and make it work well.
As part of a strategy fashioned early on in the new millennium to grow the number of both short- and long-haul visitors, Las Vegas is now hosting IPW for the third time in the span of a dozen years (2008, 2013 and 2020). Only Orlando has been an IPW host city more times. (Las Vegas and Los Angeles have both hosted the show on five occasions.)
From 2009, the trough year of the Great Recession of 2008-2009, Las Vegas’s total number of international visitors went from some 4.4 million visitors to 5.8 million visitors—an increase of one-third (33 percent)—in 2018, the year for which complete data are available. The showing for overseas (this excludes Canada and Mexico) inbound visitor traffic went from 1.8 million to 3.1 million, an increase of more than 70 percent.
Those INBOUND readers who try to figure how, or why, Las Vegas is so successful in making IPW work for the stakeholders its travel and tourism industry—there are about 150,000 hotel rooms in the city—more than in any other city in the USA—and IPW delegates will experience part of that on the Sunday night opening reception at Caesars Forum, a 550,000 square-foot conference facility and the latest addition to the portfolio of places and experiences that comprise Caesar’s Entertainment.
The Las Vegas Strip and the World’s Tallest Observation Wheel will serve as a backdrop for the event. Caesar’s Entertainment, who hosted the closing party in 2013, promises memorable food, drink and entertainment to officially kick-off IPW.
But, in the spirit of a message that tells delegates “We will not get in the way of your Vegas,” the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the scores of thousands of people who make up the travel and tourism industry want to make sure that delegates will have the time to experience parts of Las Vegas and its surrounding areas that new and returning visitors either never thought were there, or had the guts to try—from rafting the Colorado River, to touring the Valley of Fire, going behind the scenes of some of our most famous shows or even trying out some of Vegas’s daytime pool clubs.
Then, to close things off on Wednesday night, everyone will go back to where it all started–Downtown Las Vegas. The Fremont Street Experience and the hotels and casinos downtown will host delegates under the world’s largest video screen that just finished a $32 million upgrade to its video canopy that spans over which five city blocks. The canopy is now seven times brighter with four times the resolution. And what we will see on the screen will surprise us.
So, delegates should make sure that they arrive early, hydrate and be ready to play as hard as they are going to work at IPW. Be sure to check with Las Vegas CVA information specialists in the reception areas of the Las Vegas Convention Center for additions to, and other updates of, the IPW agenda. Also, INBOUND will be publishing additional features regarding the big event in future issues.