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International Visitors Boosting Tourism, QCA Economy

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Thousands of people from 16 countries headed to Chicago today for IPW, an international trade show. Ahead of the show, one group got the special opportunity to tour Iowa and Illinois. What they say they'll do after the trip could bring even more people to the Quad Cities Area.


The guests aren't your average tourists. Rather, they're tourism experts. Many are travel journalists, who are here to write about the area's attractions and agriculture.

"I read about John Deere," said Luis Cuevas, a travel writer from Mexico. "The pavilion, it is great, and we'll maybe try some food, local food."

"I didn't know that they had so much technology," said Yluska Almeida, a tourism journalist from Brazil. "We're going to write some articles about all the good things that people here have in Iowa."

Their articles and photos will reach people in their home countries, from Mexico to Malaysia. They say they will write about what they learned on local farms, and at John Deere exhibits, to talk about how technology is used in agriculture.

"They use more machines, more technology than in our country, " said Rogerio Almeida, a tourism journalist from Brazil.

Tour planners were also in the group, with their eye on a quick return. Some book around 250 trips to the US per year. They say they hope to come back to the region as early as this summer.

"It was very impressive to me," said Jan Kuzel from the Czech Republic. "I'm looking forward to putting together a couple of tours per year, and to bring the people to you."

IPW runs until April 9th. This is the first time it has been held in Chicago in 17 years. Representatives with the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau say they have almost 100 appointments set up with key international tourism players, which they say could also bring more visitors to the area.

 

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