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IPW 2021: Diminished but Determined

IPW 2021 kicked off in Las Vegas this weekend after an 18-month delay due to the pandemic. With numbers in attendance greatly diminished due to the ongoing travel ban, its organisers nonetheless struck a steely note of defiance about the full return of travel.

Roger Dow

Speaking at the media brunch on Sunday morning (19 September), US Travel Association president and CEO didn’t mince his words about the travel ban, which meant that this year’s edition of IPW has roughly one quarter the number of attendees than usual: “There’s not a lot of logic in what’s going on…you can’t freeze life forever,” he said to the gathered press about the Biden Administration’s refusal to lift the ban.

Nevertheless, Dow and IPW struck a steely note of defiance and are keen to “reunite the world” and “renew” their relationships with international buyers and media.

For the first time in the history of the international inbound travel show, there was no Irish trade in attendance.

Editor Fionn Davenport flying the flag for Ireland

It felt strange not to meet familiar faces, and there’s no doubt that the Irish presence will be missed by friends and colleagues.

The number of media in attendance is also much smaller internationally, and the groups for the media day trips were much smaller than in previous years.

Media in the Valley of Fire

Over the next few days, however, I will make sure to report back on everything that’s going on at the conference!

Opening Night

The opening night event took place at the relatively new Resorts World Las Vegas. Like always, it was spectacular if a lot smaller than in previous years.

IPW Opening Night, Resort World Las Vegas

Those in attendance enjoyed nibbles, music and even some dancing – all delivered with typical Las Vegas style.

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