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Chicago Conference Could Lure International Tourists Milwaukee's Way...Next Summer

Elizabeth Gomm/Flickr

Have you planned your summer vacation yet?  It might surprise you to learn that there are people overseas who are already plotting their vacations for next year.

A major international conference playing out in Chicago this weekend could determine whether people end up visiting popular destinations like New York or comparatively low-key destinations like Wisconsin on their Great American Road Trip in 2015 and beyond.

The event is called IPW, powered by US Travel, and it stands to make play a significant role in our region’s ability to attract international tourists. IPW's General Manager, Malcolm Smith, says the company brings the world to America.

The event brings over 1,000 travel suppliers together for five days to do a trade show. By the end of the event, over $4.7 billion will be negotiated and contracted for future travels to the United States. Smith estimates that more than 90,000 appointments will occur over three days to determine future rates and travel products for 2015-2016.

Chicago is approximately the ninth most-utilized international travel hub. Surrounding cities, like Milwaukee, should be receiving a lot of opportunity through easy access to the hub. Conventions like this should help promote the benefits of such destinations.

“It’s a really good opportunity for the non-gateway destinations to position themselves and get that attention and from that, they get the interest of the consumer internationally, as well as the international buyer,” says Smith.