Rockford to Reap Benefits of International Trade Show
ournalists and tour operators from around the world to visit Rockford this weekend

April 9, 2014

ROCKFORD, IL - The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau will represent Rockford at the largest travel and tourism tradeshow in the world, taking place in Chicago this week, April 5 - 9. IPW, formerly International Pow Wow, produced by the U.S. Travel Association, is the travel industry's premier international marketplace and largest generator of travel to the U.S. At the end of IPW, international journalists and tour operators will tour various cities around the state of Illinois, including a weekend stop in Rockford.

During three days of intensive, prescheduled business appointments, U.S. travel executives representing more than 1,000 supplier organizations and destinations from every region of the U.S., and representing all industry category components, meet with over 1,200 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries. Historically, business discussed in these meetings results in the generation of more than $4.7 billion in future travel to the U.S. At IPW, international and domestic buyers and U.S. suppliers are able to conduct business that would otherwise only be generated through a number of around-the-world trips.

"The last time Chicago hosted IPW was 1998. Host cities and states generate more future business than other destinations because seeing is believing," stated Gail Orr, international tourism manager for RACVB. "With Rockford's proximity to Chicago, it makes the perfect weekend trip for these international journalists and tour operators and gives them new ideas for products in their catalogues."

RACVB will host 25 international journalists Saturday and Sunday, April 12 - 13 from countries such as Denmark, Romania, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Mexico and India.

"The world is literally coming to us," stated John Groh, RACVB president/CEO. "IPW provides an opportunity to show world-renowned journalists and tour operators not only how accessible Rockford is, but also that our museums, gardens and sites & attractions are world-class. We know that on average international travelers spend $4,500 when visiting the U.S. Hosting these journalists truly demonstrates the power of travel."

RACVB has worked with the State of Illinois Office of Tourism in conjunction with Brand USA, the nation's first cooperative destination marketing organization, to organize a tour for 25 international journalists to Rockford. The tour includes:

Saturday, April 12 (open to media)
11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Arrive & tour Laurent House
12:30 - 1 p.m. Lunch at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
1 - 1:30 p.m. Guided tour of Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
1:45 - 2:45 p.m. Guided tour of Anderson Japanese Gardens
3 - 4:30 p.m. Self-guided tour of Burpee Museum of Natural History, Rockford Art Museum and Discovery Center Museum
4:30 - 7 p.m. Hotel check-in/free time
7 - 9 p.m. Dinner at Abreo
9 - 11 p.m. Rockford Brewing Company (optional)

Sunday April 13
8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Breakfast at Stockholm Inn
9:30 a.m. Depart for O'Hare International Airport

For more information on IPW, visit

RACVB is a private, non-profit organization that champions efforts to promote and further develop the Rockford Region as an overnight visitor destination. RACVB generates positive economic impact for the community through investments in tourism marketing, sales, promotion and advocacy.


Bridget French, Director of Marketing & Public Affairs: 815.979.1313,