Kalispell is the host city for the 2018 international tourism trade-show event, International Roundup, that starts Sunday, April 8, and continues through Wednesday, April 11.
The trade show brings travel planners and tour operators from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Nordics, Benelux and Italy who specialize in selling fully inclusive travel itineraries through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and the Dakotas. The international tourism event is an opportunity to showcase Kalispell and the Flathead Valley, and for local tourism businesses to network with the international tour and travel market, according to Diane Medler, director of the Kalispell Convention and Visitor Bureau.
The trade show, hosted by Rocky Mountain International, in conjunction with the Montana Department of Commerce, Glacier Country Regional Tourism and the Kalispell Convention & Visitor Bureau, is expected to provide a long-term economic boost for this region. The exclusive event includes over 3,600 pre-scheduled appointments connecting more than 40 international tour operators from seven countries with over 30 regional destinations, attractions and accommodations from Montana.
“International visitors are known to stay longer and spend more than domestic visitors, which makes them a valuable market for the tourism economy,” Montana Department of Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote said in a press release. “Hosting this event is a big opportunity to highlight Montana’s incredible landscape, hospitality and authentic experiences in a way that will have a direct impact on bringing travelers from overseas and into our Main Street businesses.”
During their time in the Kalispell area, tour operators will experience tourism products first-hand on familiarization tours. The event kicks off with a welcome reception at the Conrad Mansion followed by a visit to Glacier National Park and an activity vendor showcase at Glacier Outdoor Center. Attendees then experience a rodeo at the Majestic Valley Arena, an evening reception at the Museum at Central School and a banquet at the Hilton Garden Inn that also features a local activity vendor showcase. Meetings and networking appointments are held at the Red Lion Hotel in Kalispell.
International visitors stay an average of 5.35 nights. Average trip expenditures are $956, higher than domestic visitors at $698, according to the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research.
Within the Rocky Mountain International network, 387 tour operators offer products in Montana that generated an estimated 21,148 overnight rooms from international travelers in Kalispell in 2016. Headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Rocky Mountain International specializes in international tourism marketing and business development for the Rocky Mountain region.