You are here

Fact Sheet: U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow — San Francisco May 21–25, 2011

U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow is the travel industry's premier international marketplace and is the largest generator of Visit USA travel - it is NOT a typical trade show.


What: International Pow Wow in San Francisco, May 21–25, 2011. In just three days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the USA (representing all industry category components), and more than 1,100 International and Domestic Buyers from more than 70 countries, conduct business negotiations that result in the generation of over $3.5 billion in future Visit USA travel. At International Pow Wow, buyers and sellers are able to conduct business that would otherwise be generated only through an exhaustive number of around-the-world trips.

Who: Produced by the U.S. Travel Association, hosted by the San Francisco Travel Association and the city’s tourism industry

Attendees: 1,100 international tour operators from 70 countries - Qualified buyers of USA travel products and services register for International Pow Wow by invitation only.

  • 80% of the buyers sell $1 million or more in USA business annually.
  • 42% sell $5 million or more annually
  • 16% sell over $20 million in USA business a year
  • More than half of the buyers say that USA business accounts for 25% or more of their total business.
  • The buyers are experienced. 80% have been offering USA products for 6 or more years.
  • More than 80% of the buyers sell $1 million or more in USA business annually.
  • Nearly half (45%) sell $5 million or more annually
  • 1 in 5 buyers (19%) sell over $20 million in USA business a year
  • 24% send 10,000 to 50,000 visitors to the US annually; 12% send over 50,000 annually
  • 3,500 exhibitors from 1,000 organizations across the U.S., including convention and visitors bureaus, destination marketing organizations, hotels, attractions, tours, airlines, cruise lines, etc.
  • 400+ international and domestic travel journalists — International Journalists who cover and write about USA travel destinations, products, and service register by invitation and approval from the International Advisory Committee Chair (IAC) in their country and U.S. Travel Association.

Economic Impact: Immediate: The U.S. Travel Association estimates that hosting International Pow Wow brings $4.5 million to the host city in event-related spending and $2 million in attendee spending.

Short Term: According to the U.S. Travel Association, the event is expected to generate $350 million in tourism for San Francisco over the next three years.

Pow Wow History: International Pow Wow was last held in San Francisco in 1992. The event is held in a different U.S. city each year. Past hosts include Orlando, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Anaheim, New York, New Orleans, Dallas, etc. The first International Pow Wow was held in New York in 1969.

Pow Wow Events: Media Brunch & Tours: On Sunday, May 22, more than 400 international and domestic journalists, and dozens of local hosts and sponsors will gather for a media brunch at the Ferry Building Marketplace. Afterward, media will break into small groups for tours throughout San Francisco.

“Rock the Night:” The opening night event on Sunday, May 22, 2011 will be titled “Rock the Night.” Attendees will board Alcatraz Cruises for the quick trip to Alcatraz Island. On exclusive private tours, National Park Rangers will bring the true stories of prison inmates and correctional officers to life. Hornblower Cruises & Events' San Francisco Belle will be stationed dockside with copious appetizers and cocktails.

As the sun sets, attendees will go ashore to PIER 39 where the 110 shops and attractions will be open and rolling out the red carpet for Pow Wow guests. This is only the second time in PIER 39’s history that it has been closed for a private party – the other occasion was for International Pow Wow in 1992. Attendees can explore the Aquarium of the Bay, take a spin on the San Francisco Carousel, try their luck at Players Arcade, visit the famous sea lions or get lost in the new Infinite Mirror Maze. The evening continues with live music and dancing by the bay.

Open Evening: Monday, May 23, is left unscheduled so that exhibitors can host private dinners and parties for their most important international customers.

“Culture Club:” On Tuesday, May 24, the California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will treat Pow Wow attendees to an evening in Golden Gate Park, titled “Culture Club.” The Park's historic music concourse will be the site of an SFO-hosted food, drink and entertainment-filled gala featuring unique San Francisco dishes and performers. A special performance by Beach Blanket Babylon is being developed. Meanwhile, more entertainment, food and beverages will fill two of the newest and most acclaimed museums in the United States, the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum.

Inside the California Academy of Sciences, attendees will have exclusive access to all of the institutions attractions, including the Steinhart Aquarium, the new show in the world's largest all-digital planetarium, and dynamic natural history exhibits. They can also watch scientists at work in an active project lab.

Across the concourse at the de Young Fine Arts Museum, the evening's events will take place throughout the museum space including the grand angular dimensions of Wilsey court, the outdoor terrace and sculpture garden, and the impressive observation tower with 360-degree views of San Francisco and a unique bird's eye view of the dazzling Music Concourse Event.

Details of the third party are being finalized. Located in and around City Hall, it is guaranteed to end International Pow Wow in an unforgettable style befitting this legendary destination.

Host Hotels: Hotels for International Pow Wow 2011 will be located within walking distance of Moscone Center, from the South of Market district to the Union Square area. The list of participating hotels will be available August 1, 2010.

Regional Tours: Pre and post Pow Wow tours of California are being organized by the California Travel and Tourism Commission, with opportunities to explore nearly every corner of the Golden State.

Volunteers: More than 500 volunteers will be needed. For Volunteer information, contact: Lisa Cleveland or 415-227-2662.

Sponsors: For Sponsorship information, contact: Susan Wilson Toll free 877-964-4242 Office 602-996-4242. Mobile 480-824-3015.

The U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow in San Francisco is supported by the following Platinum sponsors; San Francisco International Airport, Alcatraz Cruises, California Academy of Sciences, California Travel & Tourism Commission, CityPASS, the de Young Museum, Golden Gate Parks Conservancy, Hornblower Cruises & Events and PIER 39.

The Gold sponsors are Coach America, Hyatt Hotels San Francisco, Joie de Vivre Hotels, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Napa Valley Destination Council, North Coast Tourism Council, Port of San Francisco, Red & White Fleet, Starwood Hotels & Resorts-Western Region, Sonoma County Tourism Bureau and Super Sightseeing Tours.

The Silver sponsors are AT&T Park, Boudin San Francisco, Classic Cable Cars and Ride The Ducks, Handlery Union Square Hotel, Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Marriott San Francisco Marquis, Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Premium Outlets, Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau, WharfPass and Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau.

The Bronze sponsors are “Beach Blanket Babylon,” Biscuits & Blues, Bloomingdale’s, C-Two Hotel Group, Cova Hotel, Exploratorium, Fairmont San Francisco, GoCar Tours, Go West Tours, Gold Country Visitor’s Association, Hilton Financial District, Holiday Inn Civic Center, Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf, Hotel Abrego, Hotel Whitcomb, Larkspur Hotels & Restaurants, Napa Valley Wine Train, Radisson Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco Symphony, San Mateo County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf and Westfield San Francisco Properties.