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February 4, 2014

U.S. Travel Report Highlights Long-Term Effects of Large-Scale Events

Today, the U.S. Travel Association released a new analysis of the economic impact of its annual IPW (formerly known as International Pow Wow), an international marketplace that brings more than 6,000 travel buyers, media and suppliers from more than 70 countries together.

Significantly, this analysis was released on the heels of the Meetings Mean Business initiative, which aims to increase awareness of the value conferences and events have for local and regional economies. The results of the study of this one event underscore the importance of large-scale conferences not just for a host city, but for the wider demographic. U.S. Travel is a member of the coalition, and manages a website that provides group hotel booking data in cities around the country—"a good indicator for meetings and business events," as the site notes.

By the Numbers

In 2013, IPW was held over three days in Las Vegas, and U.S. Travel’s report—conducted by research consulting firm Rockport Analytics, LLC—found some notable long-term effects from the conference for the host city, including:

  • A 1.06 million increase in the total number of international visitors over the next three years;
  • An increase in tourism spending of $1.6 billion; and
  • A direct economic benefit of $891 million.

For the United States, travel initiated by IPW 2013 is expected to:

  • Attract 8.8 million additional international visitors;
  • Increase total international visitor spending by $28 billion;
  • Add $4.7 billion in direct bookings to U.S. destinations over the next three years;
  • Directly contribute $16 billion to U.S. GDP;
  • Support 114,900 U.S. jobs annually;
  • Add $11 billion in U.S. wages; and
  • Contribute more than $4.2 billion to state, local and federal tax revenues.

Nation-Wide Effects

After 2013 IPW in Las Vegas, 62 percent of buyers said that they are now more likely to book travel to Las Vegas than before IPW took place. “IPW makes its mark with contracts being signed that bring additional visitation into Las Vegas,” said Jonathan Gray, VP of research and insight from Rockport Analytics. 

Interestingly, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents said that their time at the show also encouraged them to book markets that would not have otherwise been considered. The top 15 markets identified include many top U.S. destinations like Chicago (which will be the site of IPW 2014), Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles, but also second-tier markets like Seattle, Austin, Phoenix and Atlantic City. Smaller U.S. markets like Savannah, Memphis and Portland were also listed as attracting increased interest for future business.

In a conference call, Kenneth McGill, managing director of Rockport Analytics, said that the team studied delegate surveys that went out to buyers and suppliers who attended IPW 2013. The responses were then aligned against other data sources, including information from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Department of Commerce. “This allows us to come up with estimates of how jobs are impacted, what kind of tax revenue would be derived and what it means to the bottom line of the GDP and the Las Vegas economies,” he said. 


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