Durango has front-row seat at top travel trade show

Thursday, May 3, 2018 11:00 PM

This month, many of Colorado’s Destination Marketing Organizations, or DMOs, including the Durango Area Tourism Office, are abuzz with preparations for IPW.

Produced by the U.S. Travel Association, IPW is not your typical travel trade show. Rather, it is the travel industry’s premier international marketplace and is the largest generator of international travel to the U.S. It has been referred to as the “Super Bowl of Travel” in the United States.

About a year ago, my predecessor indicated that the “DATO sales team would be assembling a team of local tourism representatives to plan our strategy and assure a positive return on our involvement.”

Most of that planning is complete and we at DATO are poised to maximize our efforts and planning that will go into our participation at this event.

Here’s exactly what we’re doing:

First, Visit Durango (DATO’s trademarked name) is an official sponsor of IPW. That means that Visit Durango will find its way onto signs, into programs and brochures at the event, such as sponsor recognitions on (with links to the Visit Durango website); in emails sent to IPW delegates; visible at the opening night event, the Crated Colorado evening and final night event; as well as IPW daily, the Denver booth and the Colorado Convention Center.Second, we have reserved a professionally-produced double booth at the conference, which will be shared and staffed by us alongside our local industry tourism representatives: The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Purgatory Resort and the Sky Ute Resort & Casino. These folks will represent all that Durango and La Plata County have to offer for the international visitor. We also have a table reserved at the Media Market place for one-on-one prescheduled appointments.Third, the employees from DATO have already scheduled dozens of one-on-one meetings with dozens of travel and tour representatives interested in learning more about Durango for their customers. These folks are not casual consumers thinking about taking a vacation. They are tour operators and professionals on the hunt for the next best thing to propose to their customers.IPW will be attended by more than 6,000 delegates representing more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region in the country, and more than 1,300 international and domestic buyers and 500 media people from more than 70 countries. IPW will result in the generation of more than $4.7 billion in future U.S. travel.

At IPW, buyers and sellers are able to conduct business that would otherwise be generated only through an exhaustive number of around-the-world trips.

Immediately following the event, about a dozen journalists and travel trade professionals from Japan, China, Great Britain, Germany and France will descend on Durango for a FAM (familiarization) tour that they will write about and create products to sell to their clients back in their home country’s newspapers and magazines. This has the potential of generating millions of dollars in visitor revenue over the next few years.

Contact Durango Area Tourism Office Executive Director Frank Lockwood at