New Orleans is Where Hundreds of Travel Writers Are Heading

New Orleans is all about the food! I am getting hungry just thinking about it.
New Orleans is all about the food! I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

I’m waiting at the airport to fly to New Orleans, where I will attend my first IPW conference.  This is a meeting that’s called ‘Bringing America to the World,  that brings hundreds of foreign travel writers here to show them all of the great attractions, destinations and places in the United States they should write about.  It used to be called Powwow, but like so many native-American terms, this has fallen out of favor, so now it’s just IPW. It’s put on by BrandUSA, the people who promote the US as a travel destination to the whole world.

I’m checking into an AirBNB in the Garden District, about two miles from the convention center. I am happy that I’ve got an invitation to dinner tonight at Broussards, one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to. They really know how to make you feel welcome.  Tonight’s dinner will be with the tourism people in Washington DC, it will be fun to learn about what’s new there for travelers.

Every other night of the four-day event is filled with parties, swell events and it will be hard to decide which ones to attend. So far, Visit Oregon,  Texas Tourism and San Francisco’s parties look like the highlights.  But it’s New Orleans, so no matter where I go, it will be fun and festive.  The last time I was here, two years ago, we met the owners of Antoine’s the oldest restaurant in the city. The food was fantastic.

I look forward to seeing my travel buddies Janis Turk, Spud Hilton, and Sue McCarthy as well as a bunch of people who I don’t yet know will be there. That’s one of the fun things about working in an industry for a long time–you just know a lot of people and so any event like this becomes a fun catch-up and reunion!