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VAAAC Touts West County

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The area that encompasses BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, Arundel Mills and Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County is booming. That’s the message Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (VAAAC) continues to share with meeting and event planners and visitors who want to maximize their travels.

Capitalizing on the popularity of recently launched TheHotelsAtBWI.com website, VAAAC added a new Deals and Specials section to the site in May that includes Park, Sleep and Fly packages that offer travelers the option of parking at BWI/Arundel Mills-area hotels, spending the night and hopping a complimentary hotel shuttle to BWI Marshall the following day; in addition, a Fly, Park, Sleep and Cruise package encourages passengers departing from the Port of Baltimore to get an early start on their vacation by flying into BWI Marshall and staying overnight before boarding a complimentary shuttle to the cruise terminal.

Park, Stay and Go packages make it easy for visitors and area residents to use a BWI/Arundel Mills-area hotel as home base before heading to Baltimore for an Orioles game, the Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium and a host of other Baltimore and Washington, D.C., attractions. And a new Events section helps individuals to plan for upcoming concerts and activities.

TheHotelsAtBWI.com website was enhanced at a time when the eyes of thousands of international tour operators, suppliers and journalists were focused on the Washington, Maryland and Virginia markets. More than 6,300 delegates from more than 70 countries attended the International Pow Wow (IPW), which was held in early June at the Washington Convention Center. The event is the largest generator of travel to the United States and a key marketplace for connecting directly with travel buyers to grow international business; it is expected to generate $4.7 billion in future U.S. travel expenditures.
VAAAC President and CEO Connie Del Signore said IPW 2017’s proximity to Annapolis and Anne Arundel County provides the destination with an unprecedented opportunity.

“It’s unlikely an international tourism event of this magnitude will happen again in our lifetime,” said Del Signore. “Thousands of tourism professionals and journalists from around the world are right in our backyard. We’re taking advantage of the opportunity by giving attendees a first-hand taste of what Annapolis and Anne Arundel County have to offer.”

In partnership with the Maryland Department of Commerce, Capital Region USA (CRUSA) and Destination D.C., VAAAC represented he destination on the IPW marketplace floor and at networking events.

Destination D.C.-coordinated sightseeing tours, as well as Maryland Department of Commerce- and CRUSA-coordinated pre- and post-IPW familiarization tours, are providing destination marketing organizations across Maryland with the opportunity to showcase their regions to IPW delegates.

VAAAC teamed up with Arundel Mills and the National Cryptologic Museum, at Fort Meade, to orchestrate the final day of the recent “Spectacular Maryland” pre-IPW familiarization (FAM) tour. The Mills arranged for participating IPW tour operators, suppliers and journalists to enjoy curated shopping experiences at Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, before they took in lunch and a show at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. The afternoon also included opportunities for more shopping and a tour of the National Cryptologic Museum, which was led by Curator Patrick Weadon. FAM tour participants later tried their luck during free game play at Live! Casino and Hotel and attended a farewell reception at The Prime Rib before they departed for Washington.