Las Vegas. The third edition of IMEX America opened yesterday (Oct 15) at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. When asked if the show is affected by the U.S. government shutdown, Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group states: “As you know we work closely with the US Travel Association here at IMEX America as we are partnering with them on our first ever Policymakers Forum which will be attended by several US mayors and the Lieutenant Governor of Nevada. “
She explains: “Roger Dow, US Travel’s President & CEO has said: ‘Although “essential” travel functions such as customs processing, airport security and air traffic control remain unfazed by the shutdown, it is creating a harmful perception that travel to and within the United States is tenuous.’ As far as IMEX America is concerned, government buyers represent a very small proportion of our total hosted buyers and we haven’t heard of any cancellations as a result of the shutdown. Equally, our cancellation rates for hosted buyers are considerably lower this year than ever before. All in all, we’re delighted with an excellent start to IMEX America.”
IMEX America announced a 12% increase in exhibitor numbers compared to 2012 (from 2413 to 2694 companies). Hosted buyer numbers (2012: 2400), which will not be announced until the last day, are also on target for an increase.
Compared to 2012, the number of pre-arranged business appointments between exhibitors and buyers has also leapt up, with almost 50,000 one-to-one appointments made prior to the show’s doors opening this morning. This compares to just over 38,000 on 2012’s opening day and marks a 27% increase.”