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.