Miami to Host International Pow Wow 2009 May 16-20

MIAMI – International Pow Wow 2009, the travel industry’s premier international marketplace, will take place in Greater Miami and the Beaches on May 16-20, 2009, bringing more than 5,000 delegates from every region of the U.S. and more than 70 countries to the destination – including 1,000 travel organizations and close to 1,500 international and domestic buyers.

Sponsored by the U.S. Travel Association for the past four decades, International Pow Wow is projected to generate more than $3.5 billion in future international travel business with approximately $400 million of that benefiting Greater Miami and the Beaches as host destination over the next three years. The International Pow Wow show will generate 18,665 room nights with a direct economic impact of more than $8.5 million to Miami-Dade county’s local economy.

“There has never been a better time to visit Greater Miami and we’re excited about being front and center on the world travel stage,” said William D. Talbert, III, CDME, President and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), which was pivotal in bringing Pow Wow to the city. “Miami is a truly global community and offers amazing value for visitors.”

“No business event is more important to selling the $100 billion international inbound U.S. travel product than International Pow Wow and we are excited about Greater Miami and the Beaches hosting this year’s event,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “Miami’s wide variety of attractions will help demonstrate the diversity of the U.S. travel product to the world’s top international travel wholesalers and help Florida garner a greater share of the $100 billion international inbound travel market.”

“International Pow Wow 2009 presents an extraordinary opportunity for Greater Miami and the Beaches to showcase its new tourism developments and highlight our cosmopolitan tropical paradise that offers world-class lodging, dining, shopping, nightlife, scores of compelling attractions, a vibrant arts and cultural scene, festivals and sporting events,” Talbert commented. “There is no substitute for witnessing the dynamic change Miami has experienced over the past decade first-hand and we are pulling out all the stops to ensure these important influencers see the best of the best.”

Pow Wow Goes Green in Miami

The U.S. Travel Association will host one of the greenest Pow Wows on record in Greater Miami and the beaches. In addition to adding recyclable trash cans in the exhibit hall and press rooms, a digital Delegate Registry replaces the traditionally printed version while print appointment schedules and labels will be replaced by electronic schedules. Greater Miami and the beaches will work with Transportation Management Services, a leading transportation management company which just announced an innovative Carbon Offset Shuttle program that provides a negative carbon footprint resulting from ground transportation.

Miami officials made the change to reflect the city’s burgeoning green initiatives, including recently being awarded LEED Silver Certification for Existing Buildings for its American Airlines Arena – one of only two arenas in America to receive the prestigious designation.

The City of Miami has launched a number of proactive and ambitious sustainability programs in recent years, including a “Green Buildings” program that led to the installation of solar panels and other conservation measures at its City Hall and introduction of a “Green Fleet,” which requires all city vehicles to operate on hybrid technology or alternative fuels by 2012.

Miami’s hospitality industry has been “going green” for years, with more than a dozen hotels now designated as Green Lodging properties through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Lodging Program.

Miami Invested Heavily in Tourism Infrastructure

Greater Miami and the Beaches has invested billions of dollars during the past decade in upgrading its tourism infrastructure. Many Pow Wow attendees will experience one of Miami’s most significant improvements upon arrival: Miami International Airport recently inaugurated the spectacular new world-class 1.7 million square foot South Terminal. It houses 19 airlines and offers more than 60 food, retail and duty-free locations and features 19 gates capable of handling domestic and international flights.

The new customs area in South Terminal has the capability of serving up to 2,000 passengers per hour. A new bus station for cruise and tour passengers, 150 ticket counters, three security checkpoints and 400 feet of moving walkway on the international passenger level are all part of South Terminal’s passenger-friendly design.

The Airport’s latest project, the North Terminal, will house American Airlines when fully completed in 2011. It will contain 1.8 million square feet of space including retail shops, a roof-top people mover system with four stations and a Federal Inspection Area that can process some 3,600 passengers per hour. Miami International Airport has 89 different airlines serving 138 destinations and welcomes one of the highest percentage of international visitors of any destination in the country.

Known as the “Cruise Capital of the World,” Miami also recently completed the construction of two new ultra-modern cruise terminals at the Port of Miami. The Port of Miami handles more than 4.1 million cruise passengers annually. What savvy travelers have learned, however, is to add a few days to their travel plans to take full advantage of pre- and post-cruise activities in Greater Miami. Favorite destinations include the Florida Everglades, Jungle Island, Miami Children’s Museum and the Miami Seaquarium, while trendy South Beach, with its world-famous Art Deco District is a must-see for everyone.

Miami Enjoying Unprecedented Hotel Development

Miami has long been famed for its oceanfront resorts and is also home to the highest concentration of boutique hotels in the world. Hotel development during the past decade has been as strong as the days when Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and their infamous Rat Pack made Miami their winter playground in the 1950s. Two of Miami’s most iconic hotels – the Eden Roc Renaissance Beach Resort & Spa and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach – reopened in the fall of 2008 after multimillion-dollar restorations that brought the legendary beachside resorts back to their glory days.

Three new Ritz-Carlton hotels, the Four Seasons Hotel, the Mandarin Oriental Miami, The Aqualina Resort & Spa, The Setai South Beach and the Conrad Miami all opened their doors within a few years of each other in Greater Miami in the early 2000s. Equally impressive is that several luxury hotels opened in the past year, including The Regent Bal Harbour Hotel, Hotel De Soleil South Beach, Gansevoort South, Mondrian South Beach Hotel Residences, Sonesta Sole Miami, Canyon Ranch Miami Beach, The EPIC Hotel by Kimpton Properties, The Viceroy Hotel at Icon Brickell and the Grand Beach Suite Hotel. Among properties slated to open in 2009 are: W South Beach Hotel & Residences, Soho Beach House, Tempo Miami Hotel, Aloft Hotel and Four Points Sheraton Coral Gables. Even further on the horizon are a Met Marquis Hotel and Shangri-La Luxury Hotel scheduled to open in 2010 and a Sonesta Mikado opening in 2011.

Fueling the demand for high-end hotels and resorts has been Miami’s emergence as one of the world’s preeminent centers for art and culture. Case in point is the dazzling $500 million Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, which opened in October 2006. Designed by world-renowned Argentinean architect Cesar Pelli, the 570,000-square-foot complex features three separate performance facilities: the 2,200-seat John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, the 2,400-seat Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, and a 200-seat black box Carnival Studio Theater. Powered by a variety of theatrical, musical and educational programs, the Center offers world-class entertainment almost every day of the week.

Underscoring Miami’s growing stature as an arts destination is the new Frank Ghery designed New World Symphony Center. The New World Symphony project is set to feature a variable seating performance space with 360 degree projection capability; a digital music library; 26 individual rehearsal rooms, six ensemble rehearsal rooms and a multi-purpose room, all outfitted with technology for long-distance learning. The project will also include the addition of a two-acre public park and a 600-plus space public parking garage, both constructed by the City of Miami Beach, adjacent to the campus. In addition, Art Basel Miami Beach, which has become the most talked about art event in the United States and is the sister fair to Art Basel Switzerland; has become more celebrity-packed, exhilarating and successful each year since its auspicious American debut in December 2002. Five days of exhibits, A-list parties, lectures, alternative and crossover events and ancillary exhibits rage nonstop for the creme de la creme of the international art world and its collectors, dealers, curators and critics.

Other high-profile international festivals also abound. The Miami International Film Festival, one of the most respected forums on the international circuit, has established itself over the past two decades as a star-studded showcase for Latin American, North American, and world cinema. Meanwhile, The South Beach Wine & Food Festival in February is a must-attend forum for serious foodies. The celebrity meter is always dialed on high, as the most prominent figures in the culinary, wine and spirits industries travel to Miami for a jam-packed weekend of tastings, star-studded dinners and culinary seminars. Other international events include the World Music Festival, Miami International Book Fair, International Boat Show and Miami Fashion Week.

Capitalizing on Miami’s growing reputation as a culinary hot spot, the GMCVB organizes Miami Spice Restaurant during August and September where more than 100 of Miami’s top restaurants offer special prix fixe lunch and dinner menus during the promotion. Miami Spice has more than doubled in size and scope since it launched in 2001 and this year, the GMCVB introduced Winter and Spring Spice during the months of February and May, respectively. A new Miami Spa Month launched last summer to offer visitors and residents $99 treatments at nearly 20 of the city’s premiere spas was so popular it was extended into August to overlap with Miami Spice.

Miami Tourist Attractions Investing Millions in Upgraded Facilities and Exhibitions

Miami attractions have also invested millions of dollars in recent years to upgrade facilities and keep exhibitions fresh and on the cutting edge. Jungle Island, which relocated in 2003 to Watson Island in close proximity to hotels, resorts and cruise ship terminals, is a 18.6-acre theme park that is home to more than 3,000 exotic animals and 500 species of plants. Visitors enjoy animal stage shows, interactive aviaries, jungle trails, a petting farm and educational exhibits, as well as world-famous parrot shows, a new Serpentarium and Jungle Theater and more.

Miami Seaquarium, which gained notoriety as the location for filming of 1960s hit TV show “Flipper,” unveiled its new dolphin habitat, Dolphin Harbor, in 2007. The $5 million habitat features a 12,000-square-foot, 700,000-gallon dolphin pool surrounded by an 8,000-square-foot meeting facility and is home to the park’s expanded “Swim with our Dolphins program.”

Miami’s acclaimed Metrozoo has also pumped millions of dollars into exhibitions. The zoo opened its newest exhibit, Amazon & Beyond, in 2008. It is one of the world’s most varied and comprehensive tropical exhibits with jaguars, anacondas, giant river otters, harpy eagles, sting ray touch tanks, air conditioned buildings, and a unique display of a forest before and during flood times.

Miami Becomes Sports Championship Capital of America

With world-class stadiums, golf courses and other venues, Miami has become a sports championship city, hosting nearly two dozen international sporting events during 2009. The action started with the FedEx Orange Bowl in January and will culminate with the Pro Bowl on January 31, 2010 and Super Bowl XLIV in February 2010, which Miami is hosting for a record 10th time. In March alone, the city hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship, six games as part of round two of the World Baseball Classic, the Sony Ericsson Open tennis championship, the CA Golf Championship at Doral, the 2009 Bacardi Cup sailing regatta, the 2009 Acura Miami Grand Prix and Florida Derby Day, which is considered the most significant preview of the Triple Crown.

In a historic first for motorsports, Homestead-Miami Speedway will host five world-class motorsport championships in 2009, as the IndyCar Series and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series join the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series Championships. In doing so, the speedway will become the first racetrack ever to host all of the premier North American motorsports championships. The Homestead-Miami Speedway has invested millions of dollars in recent years to upgrade its facilities for racer, spectators and the media.

Miami is also home to two national state parks: the Florida Everglades and Biscayne National Parks which draws more than a million visitors each year to explore Florida’s breathtaking wilderness. For travelers who would just as soon paddle a canoe down a silent waterway or ride a jet ski in Biscayne Bay, a walk on the wild side is in order. Whether it’s a bicycle ride along back roads or a hike to a pond where wading birds gather, matchless opportunities to get back to nature exist mere minutes from civilization. Here, on the lookout for manatees and sea turtles, cameras click not for divas and movie stars, but for more than 300 varieties of birds and glorious sunsets over the River of Grass.

Related Articles

Back to top button