UMA President & CEO Scott Michael attended US Travel’s International Pow Wow (IPW) event in San Antonio this week, helping promote motorcoach travel with UMA member companies to thousands of overseas group travel buyers.
Over 5,000 attendees gathered at IPW, celebrating the event, referred to by most as Pow Wow, which finally returned to pre-COVID levels, according to organizers.
Geoff Freeman, president of the U.S. Travel Association, described the event as an “excellent opportunity to boost the critically important U.S. inbound travel market.”
Freeman noted that while the overall recovery in outbound travel is still lacking, with only a 70% rebound compared to 2019, as the global travel market becomes more competitive, the U.S. must remain proactive in ensuring the return of its core markets.
‘Initiate new business’
IPW is an opportunity “to reconnect and initiate new business, showcase the U.S. as a premier destination and generate future travel to our country,” Freeman said.
The UMA booth was well positioned in the center of the exhibit hall, along with other vendors representing the entire country. Regional booths were scattered around the perimeter, promoting specific regions or individual locations to international tour organizers from across the globe.
Over the three days, UMA hosted dozens of individual appointments and drop-in visitors seeking business partners to plan itineraries for their groups. With hundreds of motorcoach operator members across the country, UMA Members are well-situated to meet the needs of any travel planner who may be bringing a group to your part of the country.
Michael hosted the UMA booth with three UMA members from different regions of the country. The contingency held dozens of appointments with foreign travel buyers.
“During the appointments, many travel planners expressed frustrations with brokers and we emphasized that UMA represents actual motorcoach companies,” said Michael. “We highlighted the value of contracting directly with real bus and motorcoach companies that own and maintain their own vehicles and employ their own drivers.”