United States Travel Association calls for a national tourism vision at IPW 2024

by James Wilkinson

At U.S. Travel’s IPW – the largest generator of international inbound travel to the United States – in Los Angeles this week (May 3-7), the Association’s President and CEO Geoff Freeman shared a vision to make travel a national priority, solve barriers to visitation growth and become the most-visited nation in the world.

“It should be our national goal to be nothing short of number one in terms of visitor arrivals, visitor spend and visitor experience,” Freeman said.

“But our ambitions are constrained by excessively long wait times for visitor visas, often-lengthy waits at customs, and an air traffic control system that is challenged to meet demand. Achieving travel growth will require a sustained focus by government and industry to address frictions and improve the process for travellers.”

The 55th annual IPW was held from May 3-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center and the event drives more than US$5.5 billion in economic impact in future travel to the United States.

Freeman pointed to a decade of opportunity ahead as the United States prepares to welcome millions of new travelers to major events in destinations nationwide, such as Copa America this summer, the FIFA World Cup games and America’s 250th celebration in 2026, and the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028, among others that will attract leisure and business travelers.

At U.S. Travel’s IPW press conference, Freeman was joined by a panel of the Commission on Seamless and Secure Travel, including co-chair Kevin McAleenan, former Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Patty Cogswell, former Deputy Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration.

They participated in a conversation focused on creating a more efficient, secure and modern travel system for the U.S.

The commission – comprised of former government officials and private sector experts – is tasked with making policy recommendations to modernize the travel experience, increase U.S. travel competitiveness and facilitate growth.

Freeman told media, “IPW is back,” citing attendance this year of approximately 5,700 attendees from nearly 70 countries.

IPW convenes U.S. travel suppliers with international tour operators and buyers for 100,000 scheduled business appointments over three days.

This year’s IPW saw a 20% increase in attendance over 2023’s event, an indication of travel’s continuing recovery.

However, total inbound visitation to the U.S. remained at just 84% recovered (at the end of 2023) of 2019 levels, so much work remains ahead to build arrivals and increase market share.

The 56th IPW will be held in Chicago from June 14-18, 2025.


The best way of getting to Los Angeles in comfort and style.

Qantas’ brilliant Business Class ‘Suite’


Qantas operates direct flights to Los Angeles from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney with Airbus A330s, A380s and B787s that feature the airline’s suite-style Business Class cabin.

Qantas’ Business Class cabin is headlined by a ‘suite’ seat – now available on all the Boeing 787-9, Airbus A330-200 and Airbus A330-300 jets in the fleet and select Airbus A380-800s – that has been popular with executive and leisure travellers since it first arrived on the scene in 2016.

This next-generation Business Class seat from the Flying Kangaroo can be reclined for take-off and landing, and the cabin offering also includes top Australian food and wine and world-class entertainment.