IPW 2023 was a triumphant return to the world of travel tourism and the long-awaited resumption of “normalcy” after the two to three-year interruption caused by the global pandemic.
San Antonio, Texas was “invaded” by more than 5,000 delegates representing all 50 states and dozens of countries around the world – all there to collectively announce that Travel… was finally back!
The host city did an excellent job welcoming us all and invited us to a series of Texas-sized events as grandiose and exciting as the state itself, setting the stage for an incredibly busy and exciting week of meetings and business. We attended presentations from organizations like Brand USA and Visit California and either hosted or visited more than 40 individual meetings with DMOs and hundreds of other travel brands located throughout the vast Henry Gonzalez Convention Center to learn more about their individual goals for 2023-2024, and to share Hylink’s unique capabilities across the Travel sector.
We caught up with old friends and clients like Brand USA, Santa Monica Travel Tourism and SFTA, and met a host of new folks we look to develop into clients soon! Through it all, the air of excitement was palpable as the world reconnected for the first time post-pandemic and re-discovered the power and the joy of travel.
- The extraordinary kick-off event at the vibrant and diverse La Villita development
- Seeing old friends from my days as an international travel journalist and sharing the details of my new role at Hylink
- Learning the power of the services we are able to provide through the excitement of the people to whom we were pitching
- Getting to know my co-workers, Alejandro and Humphrey more closely than I had previously been able to do.
- The BBQ adventure Humphrey, Ale and I enjoyed outside of San Antonio.
- The Amazing Drone Light Show that was presented during the Grand Finale event at the incredibly famous Alamo
The pandemic was such an enormous hurdle to overcome – in every possible way – and, to realize we had survived it, and could now resume the good and important work that brings us all together was so satisfying the entire week was infused with an extraordinary air of relief, excitement and hope for the future. No matter who you are, or how tangential your connection to the travel industry might be, that was a feeling that was desperately missed over these past years. And, while we all have a great deal of work to do in order to regain the success of the pre-pandemic world, I’m incredibly grateful to be able to report that we are all, finally, back on the road to get there.
Thanks for an outstanding IPW, San Antonio… and I look forward to seeing everyone again next year when IPW returns to Los Angeles in 2024!