SAN ANTONIO — IPW 2023, held this week in San Antonio, TX, highlighted just about every U.S. destination in the country, including many favourites high up on travellers’ top picks list.
IPW’s 5,000 attendees, from more than 60 countries, heard all the updates, including a look ahead from host city L.A. to IPW 2024.
Here’s a look …
L.A. PREPARES TO WELCOME IPW 2024
Los Angeles Tourism has kicked off ‘The Road to IPW 2024.’ Across the city, new places to stay, award-winning dining experiences, vibrant attractions, advanced infrastructure, and more make up ‘LA 2.0’, ready to welcome the world. The city now enjoys a US$15 billion modernization of Los Angeles International Airport, 6,700 hotel rooms added in the past three years, and the largest number of museums and performing arts venues in the U.S. With 11 professional sports teams, Los Angeles is also looking forward to hosting a spectacular lineup of major sporting events including the U.S. Open Championship in June 2023, the FIFA World Cup in 2026, and the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
LOTS NEW AT ORLANDO THEME PARKS
Several new additions and attractions are coming to Orlando theme parks. SeaWorld Orlando is launching Pipeline, the world’s first ‘surf coaster’ that simulates a dynamic surfing launch and ‘wave jumping’ motions. Universal Orlando Resort introduces Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast, an interactive blaster game set in a new Minion Land. Walt Disney World features TRON Lightcycle/Run, a high-speed coaster based on the movie TRON: Legacy, and the opening of Roundup Rodeo BBQ, a Toy Story-themed table service restaurant. Peppa Pig Theme Park offers Breakfast With Peppa, a limited-time character dining experience, and LEGOLAND Florida debuts Go Xtreme, an adrenaline-pumping stunt show. Visit Orlando is also set to enhance its online training resource, the Orlando Travel Academy, (orlandotravelacademy.com) in June.
NEW ORLEANS ROLLS ON WITH FESTIVAL SEASON
The Essence Festival of Culture returns to Downtown New Orleans June 29-July 3. The concert series, held at Caesars Superdome, is headlined by Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill and Megan Thee Stallion. During Restaurant Week from June 19-25, visitors will be able to find multi-course curated menus from some of the best restaurants in New Orleans. Tales of the Cocktail will take place at a variety of New Orleans hotels, restaurants and bars July 23-28. The theme for 2023 event is VITALIZE to encapsulate the hospitality community’s vibrancy and adaptability. Turning to accommodation options, Nobu Hotel New Orleans and restaurant are set to open in 2024 within the newly created Caesars New Orleans, following a multimillion-dollar transformation of Harrah’s New Orleans.
NEW YORK CITY UPGRADES AIRPORTS
LGA is undergoing an $8 billion transformation to a single, structurally unified main terminal with better transportation access and first-class passenger amenities. In June 2022, Delta Air Lines opened the doors to the new Terminal C, while Terminal B was named the best new airport terminal in the world by Skytrax. In December 2022, JFK unveiled the newly revitalized Terminal 8, developed by American Airlines and British Airways, offering travelers new premium lounges, enhanced baggage systems, premium check-in space and more to be discovered. In January, Newark Liberty International Airport debuted the updated $2.7 billion Terminal A, offering 33 new gates directly connected to a multilevel parking facility. EWR is also working toward a new 2.5-mile elevated guideway train system, which will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and ease traffic congestion.
PHILADELPHIA NAMED ‘MOST WALKABLE CITY IN THE U.S.’
Philadelphia has been voted ‘Most Walkable City in the U.S.’ in the 2023 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. The award is a testament to the city’s accessibility and ease of transportation for visitors and residents alike, addressing one of the primary factors travelers consider when selecting a destination. Visitors can participate in a slew of self-guided walking tours to explore all sorts of topics from history and street art to food and architecture by foot. Center City Philadelphia is a compact, easy-to-navigate area spanning 26 blocks from the Delaware River on the east to the Schuylkill River on the west. With 4.1 kilometres separating the popular Franklin Fountain ice cream parlour at 2nd and Market streets in Old City and the Philadelphia Museum of Art at 26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, it takes less than an hour to walk from one end of downtown Philly to the other.
ACCESSIBLE MIAMI: ALL ACCESS PASS FOR EVERYONE
Access means accommodating physical disabilities, and Greater Miami & Miami Beach has rolled out the welcome mat. From hotels and attractions to beaches, people with physical disabilities will find supportive infrastructure to get them going. The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne boasts a range of accessible features and accommodations including an accessible entrance and registration desk, and wider doorways for wheelchairs. Aloft Miami-Brickell, located on in the Brickell financial district, features accessible rooms with wide doors, along with roll-in showers or accessible tubs, plus a visual fire alarm and televisions with closed captioning. The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort features two accessible tropical infinity pools, and closed-caption televisions, as well as wheelchair-accessible rooms with lower peepholes and roll-in showers with grab bars. Carillon Miami Wellness Resort features a cutting-edge wellness centre, fresh organic cuisine and modern luxury apartments – some with in-room accessibility including accessible bathrooms.
Travelweek has been covering IPW 2023 all this week in Travelweek Daily; click here for coverage from May 23, and here for coverage from May 24.