Capital Region USA Books New Business at US Travel’s International Pow Wow Trade Show

May 31, 2011

Matt Gaffney is the President and CEO of Capital Region USA and has been working in the travel and tourism industry for 30 years. Capital Region USA is a Market Development Cooperator Program partner.

This year, the Capital Region USA (CRUSA), the official regional tourism destination marketing organization promoting Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland internationally, attended Pow Wow 2011 and wrapped up a successful showing with a record number of completed appointments – exceeding last year’s total by 52%. This year’s venue, San Francisco, with its worldwide appeal and a 25% increase in buyer registrations certainly helped our performance, but we also made better use of our team of contracted overseas representatives to generate more pre-scheduled appointments, particularly from Brazil and Mexico. CRUSA also hosted its first-ever event at Pow Wow, a “CRUSA goes GAGA” after party on Saturday that attracted about 275 clients from around the world.

During the show we held meetings with nearly all of the 23 tour operators with whom we are working on this year’s cooperative marketing campaigns, funded in part by our Market Development Cooperator Program grant. Many of these operators were already prepared to discuss cooperative activities for FY 12 and many shared marketing plans with specific recommendations for new joint activities. CRUSA will be reporting on room night bookings and resulting economic impact from this year’s cooperative campaigns at the end of September, about the same time we make decisions on which operators we will be partnering with for next year.

Forty five partners from the Capital Region participated in this year’s Pow Wow, including a mix of destinations, hoteliers, attractions and special events planners from across Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Several hotel and attractions partners successfully booked business on the spot. Pow Wow continues to be a very cost-effective show for CRUSA in that we meet with clients from around the world without the expense of overseas travel. For 2011 we are optimistic that we can meet or exceed the 10% increase in international arrivals that the region experienced in 2010.


  1. Travel is a bit down but we are seeing some upturn in the travelers south of USA. Which is good. This is not the case every and work still needs to be done to increase the interest in traveling abroad.

  2. Congratulations to you guys on a job well done. The tourism industry in Ireland is on it’s knees at the moment with this deep recession.

  3. I’ve been to the DC, Virginia, and San Francisco, these are some great cities to visit. What most tourist need to hear before they visit a particular state are discounts on lodging, great restaurants and plenty of parking or inexpensive parking. I think if you can come up with a marketing campaign around these themes, you’ll get lots of visitors.

  4. One of the biggest problem in that area unfortunately is the choking traffic. There is so much history and natural beauty along the Potomac but getting around is expensive slow and saps a lot of joy from the process. In good weather a bicycle tour is pleasant though, and Maryland has a lot of good paths into D.C. for pedestrians

  5. Ireland’s tourism industry is likely to get a pickup as the US dollar strengthens against the dying Euro, and news keeps coming out about cheap property and cheap vacation deals in Europe – especially the PIIGS nations. There comes a point when the air tickets are cheap enough (30% drop in crude oil in USA helps) and the hotel is desperate enough. Tourism from USA to Ireland will pick up if it isn’t already. For whatever reason though it is true, DC has remained a special place where property values haven’t dropped much and unemployment is low… even tourism staying good!

    • Seeing development on our country makes me happy! Even we got a AA+ rating on S&P, im sure we would get out of recession soon.

  6. Latest reports that there is a pick up in tourism but it seems to be only in the Dublin region.I dont know what affect the Vat reduction has had if any.

  7. I think that every region of US is extremely interesting and worth visiting.

  8. The Travel Industry in the US will be growing in the next several years.. There are many interesting places that can be visited in this region.. Thanks a lot for your information.. Really helpful information for us..

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