IPW 2014 Newsletter - February


As the host city for IPW 2014, Chicago is taking another important step toward achieving our goal of welcoming more than 55 million visitors annually by 2020. IPW is the premier marketplace for bringing international travelers to America.

This annual tradeshow, which in effect convenes the entire international travel marketplace under one roof, attracts 6,000 tour operators, suppliers, travel writers and other travel leaders representing more than 70 countries.  These buyers are responsible for bringing nearly 12 million international visitors to the U.S. each year. 

Needless to say, this presents an unparalleled opportunity to promote international travel to our city and reinforce the image of Chicago as a vibrant city with unmatched architecture, memorable attractions, superb dining and shopping options, and local charm.

As these travel buyers and suppliers come together for several days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, they generate billions of dollars of future international travel to the U.S.


Chicago is Growing as an International Destination

As we get ready to host IPW in April, it’s important to put into context why this event is so important.

Growing international visitation is part of realizing Mayor Emanuel’s goal of welcoming 55 million visitors to Chicago by 2020. Reaching that goal would generate 30,000 new jobs. In 2012, Chicago welcomed a record 1.369 million overseas visitors, an impressive 14.2 percent gain over the 1.199 million overseas visitors in 2011. The strong overseas visitation moved Chicago from tenth in US market share ranking to ninth (replacing Boston).

Chicago’s Asian market growth was up 30 percent for the year, twice that of the national average. In addition, growth from the South American markets to Chicago was up 18 percent.  Combined, the Asian and South American markets accounted for more than half a million overseas visitors to Chicago in 2012.

International expenditures in 2012, reflected by the record level of overseas visitors to Chicago, grew at a double-digit pace (+14.5%) for a second consecutive year, reaching $1.728 billion, an incremental gain of nearly half a billion dollars since the 2009 recessionary trough.

Working with our global partners and collaborating effectively with the Chicago Department of Aviation and our airline partners, we intend to meet Mayor Emanuel’s goal of 55 million visitors to Chicago by 2020. Serving as great hosts and ambassadors for Chicago during IPW in April will be key to our success.


Potential Value to Chicago Rivals That of Super Bowl

For Chicago, the economic impact of hosting IPW, which will take place April 5–9, rivals that of the Super Bowl.

The U.S. Travel Association recently released a compelling new analysis of the economic impact of IPW. A comparison of the economic impact of the 2013 IPW event in Las Vegas with a similar study of the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis shows that, while the Super Bowl attracted more attendees, the measurable total impact of IPW is longer—three years as opposed to four days—and is significantly larger across key economic categories.

This study showed that for the host city, IPW produced more than four times as many direct expenditures, delivered more than five times the amount of GDP value-added direct impact, and generated greater tax revenues across the local, state and federal levels.

Increased International Visitors to Generate Business, Jobs and Taxes for Chicago and Illinois

For the U.S. host city, the report—conducted by research consulting firm Rockport Analytics, LLC—found that IPW, as evidenced by its effect on Las Vegas, will result in:

  • 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.

After IPW in Las Vegas, 62 percent of buyers indicated they are more likely to book travel to Las Vegas than before IPW took place.  The implications for Chicago and Illinois, as host of IPW 2014, can be seen in the anticipated impact of future travel to Las Vegas as a result of last year’s show:

  • The “IPW Effect” will directly support 5,250 annual jobs and $656 million in wages over the next three years in Las Vegas. The lift in visitation will also lead to an additional $93.8 million in state in local tax revenue over the next three years.

These figures show the potential windfall for Chicago in the years ahead as a result of hosting IPW 2014.  If Chicago and Illinois were only to reap half the economic impact IPW created for Las Vegas, the value to our city and state will be well worth our investment in hosting the show.

Chicago last hosted the event in 1998, and it is no secret that over the last 16 years, the city has evolved into a truly global destination with unmatched cultural attractions, award-winning chefs and restaurants, and endless entertainment options. We are excited to welcome the international travel community and to showcase our amazing assets, including many that are beyond the Loop.

Since Chicago last hosted IPW in 1998, Choose Chicago has opened 10 offices in seven international markets (see below for details). The sales and public relations efforts in these international markets have delivered positive results over the past two years and will only further extend the impact that IPW has to increasing international tourism to the city and achieving Mayor Emanuel’s tourism goals.



  1. Hosting IPW 2014 is Civic Pride: It is Chicago's big moment to show the world who we are and what our city offers - it's our job interview/audition on the world stage as we strive to elevate our city from 9th to among the top 5 US destinations for international travelers.
  2. Hosting IPW is Economic Impact: The immediate economic impact of IPW in the 3-5 years following is $350-$400 million, creating new jobs, tax revenue and significant consumer spending for Chicago’s economy.
  3. Hosting IPW 2014 is an Accelerator: International tourism speeds Chicago's economic growth in ways that no industry can match. Chicago is extremely well positioned to leverage this hosting opportunity, with 10 international offices in four continents running with the ball following IPW.

There are lots of ways to get involved. Choose Chicago is leading the IPW hosting effort and there are sponsorship packages available at many different levels.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities contact Nina Winston, Choose Chicago's Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at nwinston@choosechicago.com or 312-567-8561.



Volunteer with IPW and work alongside your enthusiastic neighbors, show off Chicago while meeting people from around the world, and get complimentary tickets to some of the city’s best attractions in the process!

Be among the 800-plus volunteers needed to help Chicago host 6,000 people from more than 70 countries as part of the IPW convention from April 5-9.

Special duties for IPW volunteers will include greeting convention attendees, staffing information desks, directing delegates to appropriate transportation, and assisting with sightseeing tours, evening events and more.

Volunteers who sign up and complete two or more IPW 2014 shifts will receive two complimentary tickets to one of the following Chicago attractions: John Hancock Observatory, Art Institute of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium or The Field Museum.

Sign up to volunteer today - spots are going fast!

For more information: http://www.choosechicago.com/articles/view/Volunteer/925/




Meet, greet, direct and assist convention delegates to the proper baggage claim and transportation areas throughout O'Hare International Airport.


Assist with evening events for welcoming, distributing items and logistics.


At various hotels, answer questions about the IPW schedule and answer any inquiries about Chicago attractions, museums, shopping, etc. Reference materials will be provided.


Work with U.S. Travel Association representatives at McCormick Place for registration bag collation and registering delegates for the Marketplace.


Direct delegates to the proper shuttle buses at a host hotel or an evening event.


For more details and to register: http://www.choosechicago.com/articles/view/Volunteer/925/



Choose Chicago currently operates 10 offices throughout eight countries and regions to help spur international travel to Chicago:

Market Visitors in 2012
Canada (Toronto)
Canadians comprise one-third of all international visitors to the U.S.
United Kingdom (London)
The U.K. is America’s largest overseas market.
Mexico (Mexico City)
Mexican visitation to Chicago increased 41%, more than four times the national growth rate.
Japan (Tokyo)
Japan is currently the largest Asian market for travel to the U.S., and the second largest overseas market.
China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou)
China is expected to account for 19 percent of overall visitor volume
increases between 2012 and 2018.
Germany (Frankfurt)
Nearly 2 million Germans visit the U.S. annually.
Brazil (Sao Paulo)
By 2018, the U.S. is expected to host 3 million Brazilians, a 70 percent increase over 2012.
By 2018 arrivals from Europe are projected to be 14.3 million, or 14 percent higher than the 2012 actual volume.



  • Friday, April 4
    • Airport Shuttles for Delegates
  • Saturday, April 5
    • Airport Shuttles for Delegates
    • Booth Set-Up for Exhibitors at McCormick Place
    • Local Sightseeing Tours for Tour Operators, Media, MICE Buyers and Suppliers
  • Sunday, April 6
    • Airport Shuttles for Delegates
    • Booth Set-Up for Exhibitors at McCormick Place
    • MICE Brunch and Tours
    • Media Brunch for 500 Travel Writers at John Hancock Building
    • 14 Themed Local Sightseeing Tours for Media
    • Local Sightseeing Tours for Tour Operators and Suppliers
    • Opening Night: "How Do You Chicago?" - Cinespace Chicago Film Studios 7:00pm - 10:30pm
  • Monday, April 7
    • IPW Marketplace Meetings for Tour Operators and U.S. Suppliers
    • Media Marketplace for 500 Travel Writers and U.S. Suppliers
    • Evening Event: Dine Like a Local
  • Tuesday, April 8
    • IPW Marketplace Meetings for Tour Operators and U.S. Suppliers
    • Evening Event: Dine Like a Local
  • Wednesday, April 9
    • IPW Marketplace for Tour Operators and U.S. Suppliers
    • Closing Night: "PURE ENERGY CHICAGO" - Museum of Science and Industry - 7:00pm - 10:30pm
  • Thursday, April 10
    • Post-IPW Fam Tours for Buyers, MICE Buyers and Media from Thursday, April 10 – Sunday, April 13



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