• A Hopeful Sign on the Return of International Travel

    POSTED March 31, 2022

If the early registration numbers for IPW, the annual international trade show of the U.S. Travel Association, are an indication, global hospitality professionals are ready to return to the United States. By the end of March, more than two months ahead of the June 4-8 gathering in Orlando, Florida, registrations by international buyers and media had nearly doubled last year’s delegate count.

The numbers communicate a hopeful story: As of March 25, 712 buyers and 364 media from 62 countries had registered to attend the travel trade show that celebrates the theme “Bringing the World to America.” In addition, 280 domestic buyers and 70 domestic members of the press had also registered. The United Kingdom, Brazil and Canada are, as of now, the nations sending the largest delegations. 

“The message these numbers tell us is the travel world is ready to return to the United States,” said Malcolm Smith, general manager of IPW. He continued: “We are very pleased, but not surprised, to see this strong turnout from the global travel community. As travel becomes increasingly easier for people around the world, everyone is ready to get back to traveling, reconnecting, and visiting the awesome diversity that's only found in the United States. Our domestic exhibitors and partners are eager to welcome back international visitors.”

In its  forecast of international arrivals, U.S. Travel projects that 52 million people will visit the United States in 2022 (up 144% from 2021) and 68 million will visit in 2023 (up 30% over 2022).

The latest Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Business Travel Recovery Poll revealed that business travel is surging forward and international travel is returning alongside the challenges of rising fuel prices, inflation, supply chain disruption, and the war in Ukraine. In addition, corporate travel policies are undergoing a revamp, and a large majority of employees indicate they are willing to travel for business. 


The hospitality and meetings and events industries are known for their generosity. Even after a couple of tough years courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping others has remained a priority. Here are a few examples from around the country. 


On May 4, Knowland, a provider of meetings and events intelligence data, released its monthly report for April 2022. The data showed a significant increase in meetings activity, with a 323% increase over April 2021, including a 3.7% recovery of events from March to April 2022.

Additional information included:

•     In April 2022, the average number of attendees per event was 118, compared to 63 in April 2021 and 74 in April 2019.