2 Million Extra Visitors to US in Past 2 Years

Brand USA builds on partner base to further grow tourism

Brand USA, the destination marketing organisation for the United States, generated more than 2 million incremental visitors to the U.S. from around the globe over the past two years, according to a new study by Oxford Economics.

Brand_USA_Chris_Thompson_CEO.jpg

Chris Thompson, Band USA President and CEO

Brand USA was created through the 2010 Travel Promotion Act as a public-private enterprise to increase tourism to the U.S. and enhance America’s image as a premier travel destination. It began operations in May 2011.

“As a result of welcoming more international visitors to the United States, the U.S. economy grows, jobs are created and more importantly, there is a more favourable image of the United States around the world,” said Christopher L. Thompson, President and CEO of Brand USA.

Oxford Economics documented that Brand USA marketing brought 2 million incremental visitors to the United States. Those travellers spent $6.5 billion as part of their travels, resulting in nearly $15 billion in total economic impact over the past two years. Overall, during 2014, the United States welcomed 75 million international visitors who spent $221-billion.

Today, Brand USA is working with a network of nearly 500 private-sector partners, as well as its partners in the Federal government and in- market experts, including Visit USA committees. The organisation is looking to build upon and enhance its collaboration with the Visit USA committees and U.S. Commercial Service in key international markets.

HIGHLIGHTS OF RECENT BRAND USA ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS

Brand USA launched a new culinarytourism initiative in July 2014 in partnership with the James Beard Foundation. The program recently expanded to include a new consumer website, “Flavors of the USA,” and a new guidebook in six languages by the same name.

Brand USA’s partnership network jumped from 339 partners in fiscal 2013 to 475 in the following year. The number of programs for partners surged from 30 to more than 100. This helped to sustain a 94-percent retention rate among partners.

Brand USA’s international representation now covers 20 markets with new offices in Canada and India.

Brand USA hosted U.S. pavilions at regional tourism expositions in Brazil, Mexico, China, Italy, Germany, Singapore, Russia, and Sweden.

As a result of welcoming more international visitors to the United States (…) there is a more favourable image of the United States around the world

Brand USA introduced a sixth module for its USA Discovery online- training platform for international travel agents, which allows the agents to become familiar with various aspects of US travel. The USA Fly-Drive module features classic American road trips and “roads less traveled.”

Thomas Cook and Brand USA launched a pan-European social- media competition, “Discover America: United Stories of America.” Participants win monthly trips to the U.S. In December 2014, President Obama signed the omnibus- spending bill into law that included provisions for re-authorizing federal funding for Brand USA through fiscal 2020. The measure had received bi- partisan support in both houses of Congress.

EXPEDIA PARTNERS WITH “AMERICA WILD: A NATIONAL PARKS ADVENTURE”

Expedia, Inc. has been chosen by Brand USA as the first global sponsor and exclusive online travel activation partner for the new giant-screen film celebrating the USA’s great outdoors. The film is scheduled for global release to coincide with the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016.

Titled “America Wild: A National Parks Adventure,” the giant-screen film will be shown in giant-screen theatres around the world in nearly 40 countries, starting early next year.

“Our partnership with Expedia aligns Brand USA and our great outdoors platform with a proven vehicle to drive and activate travel to the U.S.,” said Mr Thompson. “With the global reach of Expedia and the international release of the giantscreen film, we expect the impact of this partnership to truly move the needle.”

Through this multi-million dollar partnership, Expedia, Inc., one of the world’s largest travel companies with a brand portfolio of leading online travel brands in more than 70 countries, will be a featured sponsor on the giant-screen film with logo placement and global consumer advertising campaigns.

“There are few things that highlight America as a vacation destination like our great national parks”, said Noah Tratt, global senior vice president, Expedia Media Solutions. “Expedia is thrilled to be part of this innovative way of reaching and inspiring people around the world to travel to the U.S. to experience our national treasures in person.”

Our partnership with Expedia aligns Brand USA and our great outdoors platform with a proven vehicle to drive and activate travel to the U.S.

Brand USA collaborated with independent filmmaker MacGillivray Freeman Films to produce the giant screen film. MacGillivray Freeman has created 38 giant-screen productions, including nine of the top 20 box-office hits.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Expedia to bring America’s awe-inspiring natural landscapes to the giant screen,” said Shaun MacGillivray, “America Wild” producer and president of MacGillivray Freeman Films. “Their global network of world travelers represents the perfect audience for our film, and together we look forward to delivering an unforgettable movie experience that will take viewers into the heart of America’s great outdoors.”

In December, Brand USA launched a new website – The United States of Great Outdoors – that highlights outdoor travel destinations and experiences across the country. Visitors to the site can get behind-the-scene looks at the making of “America Wild.”