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Industry Briefs
Intertnational Pow Wow WOWS Them In Los Angeles

The U.S. Travel Association (USTA) outdid itself in presenting the 44th International Pow Wow April 21-24 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The army of US-based suppliers and their travel agent/tour operator counterparts from around the globe who converged on the City of Angeles were treated to one of the most spectacular and productive USTA offerings yet. A cadre of domestic and international media reps covered every aspect of Pow Wow like a tight fitting glove, from pre-event city tours and the press brunch at the Natural History Museum, one of LA’s many cultural treasures, to the spectacular opening night event, a Premier Party at Hollywood & Highland, where participants got to enjoy Cirque Du Soleil’s new IRIS show, and sample palate pleasing cuisine from caterer Wolfgang Puck.

Among the many highlights of Pow Wow were: the Media Marketplace Sessions, where press visited participating U.S. Suppliers at their tables; business appointments in the Brand USA Marketplace, where one-on-one sessions were prescheduled for international travel agents and tour operators to meet US-based suppliers; and Monday night’s memorable Universal Studios Hollywood event, where thrill-seekers were among the first to experience Transformers The Ride – 3D, while foodies were delighted to make the rounds of an array of serving stations.


Writing in the Pow Wow program, Rossie Ralenkotter, newly elected National Chair of the U.S. Travel Association, and president & CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said “During three days of focused business meetings and four nights of networking and fun with fellow attendees, Pow Wow creates an unparalleled environment to forge valuable relationships to grow your business and the global travel business as well as strengthen public diplomacy,”

Roger Dow
hosted a U.S. Travel Association press conference in the outdoor Gilbert Lindsay Plaza adjacent to the Center’s West Hall, during which he provided details of the association’s Vote Travel Campaign, “THE POWER OF TRAVEL….GET AMERICA MOVING.”

Host hotels for Pow Wow included Hilton Checkers Hotel, Hilton Universal City, The Hollywood Renaissance Hotel, JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live, Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens, Luxe City Center, Marriott Los Angeles Downtown, Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza, Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel and Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites.

Both Cathy Keefe (media rep for USTA) and Carol Martinez (V.P. Communications for Visit Los Angeles) received high praise from Black Meetings & Tourism’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Solomon J. Herbert for the success of this year’s Pow Wow. “I realize putting on an event of this scope is a team effort and everyone from Roger Dow on down to the youth volunteers deserve credit for how smoothly the event unfolded. But I feel compelled to single out Cathy and Carol for their dedication and hard work. I know they played no small part in the overall success of Pow Wow, and especially of the media related events, which encompassed almost every activity that took place.”

Added Herbert, “The last time Pow Wow was held in Los Angeles, USTA planners neglected to include any ethnic neighborhoods and attractions in the pre-event city tours. Fortunately, international tour operators and media made it known that they wanted to visit African-American, Latino and Asian-American communities, and a hastily organized tour of the Leimert Park district was pulled-together at the last minute. To their credit, Carol, Cathy and the Pow Wow planners learned from this experience, and this year ethnic tours were prominently included in the options offered.”

An estimated 5,000 attendees from 70 countries participated in this year’s Pow Wow. It is anticipated that more than $3.5 billion in future travel to the US will be generated by Pow Wow 2012. Next year’ Pow Wow will be held in Las Vegas.