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LOS ANGELES CAPTURES AMERICA'S LARGEST INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL MEETING; GATHERING EXPECTED TO GENERATE $190 MILLION FOR CITY

 LOS ANGELES, Nov. 22 ~PRNewswire~ -- Los Angeles will be the host city for the 1996 Travel Industry Association (TIA) of America's annual Discover America International Pow Wow, the nation's largest marketplace for tour operators and travel suppliers, it was announced Friday by the association's board of directors in Palm Springs, Calif.
 The event is expected to generate at least $190 million in future international travel business for the city, according to TIA.
 "This is a big victory. It is a win. This validates Los Angeles's position as a premiere international travel destination at a time when we need it most," said George D. Kirkland, president of the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, which produced the winning bid to bring the meeting to the city.
 While the high profile event is expected to bring $7.8 million and attract 5,400 attendees for the four-day gathering, the real value of the meeting will be the chance to host every major buyer in the national travel marketplace, according to Kirkland.
 "This is an extraordinary opportunity to showcase the attractions that these travel professionals may have never experienced previously. We made the decision to solicit this event in 1996 because that year will offer us a perfect time-frame to introduce new product. The Disney Concert Hall and the Getty Center project in Brentwood are expected to be completed, two places where we would hope to produce some of our special events," Kirkland said.
 The marketplace, which will convene June 8-12, 1996, will utilize the new $500 million Los Angeles Convention Center, which will be completed in September 1993.
 Five unnamed cities competed for the opportunity to host the meeting which brings international travel buyers from 59 countries together to exchange business with domestic tour suppliers and destinations. Last year's meeting in San Francisco generated an estimated $1.9 billion in U.S. inbound international travel business.
 "With its new Convention Center, its cooperative and dedicated hotel community, a superb combination of attractions and its tremendous lure as an international gateway city, our decision to hold Pow Wow in Los Angeles in 1996 was a wise one," said Roger Ballou, president of American Express Travel-Related Services and TIA chairman.
 Pow Wow is responsible for generating one out of every eight visitors to the United States, TIA reports. That figure is significant, Kirkland said, since international travel to the United States is expected to increase 72 percent by the end of the decade.
 International tour operators applauded the decision to bring the meeting to Los Angeles. "In recent times, people have seemed to overlook L.A.'s appeal and charm. Pow Wow will be a refreshing opportunity to initiate discussion of the city's attractiveness to travelers from all over the globe," said Ikuo Katayama, general manager of the Japan Travel Bureau Inc., the world's largest Japanese tour operator.
 Ron Bension, president of MCA Recreation Services, which operates Universal Studios Hollywood, said, "Pow Wow will be the most significant international visitor marketing opportunity Los Angeles will see this decade. This event is one where all of us in tourism industry will see a tremendous financial return."
 Los Angeles last hosted Pow Wow in 1985.
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 ~CONTACT: Gary C. Sherwin of the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, 213-236-2357~


CO: Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau; Travel Industry
 Association of America ST: California IN: LEI SU:


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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 20, 1992
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