Brand USA announced preliminary results of its national tourism marketing efforts. The announcement follows the release of a progress report by the Departments of State and Homeland Security on the advances made in travel facilitation since the announcement of the Executive Order on travel and tourism on January 19, 2012. The 180-day progress report outlines progress made by the departments to increase the flow of safe travelers to the United States.
“Efforts to facilitate inbound international travel allow Brand USA to maximize the return on its marketing and communications efforts for the country,” said Caroline Beteta, Brand USA’s interim CEO and incoming chair of the organization’s board of directors. “Travel and tourism is the United States’ largest services export and huge job creator. Brand USA is actively engaged with our Federal agencies in a coordinated effort to grow our economy through boosting tourism to all parts of the United States, and we are pleased with the progress to date,” Beteta added.
International travel to the United States is good news for the economy. According to a report issued August 21, 2012, by the Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI), international visitors have spent an estimated $82.2 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date, an increase of 11 percent over the same period in 2010. By year end, the OTTI report estimates that international visitors could end up injecting a record $169 billion into the U.S. economy.
The metrics for the first phase of Brand USA’s campaign shows that these figures are likely to continue trending upward. Intent to visit has increased significantly in Brand USA’s consumer launch markets within just three months since the campaign launched in May: up 13 points in Canada, 17 points in the UK and 11 points in Japan.
In Japan, 70 percent of survey respondents said that the campaign “makes me somewhat or much more interest in traveling to the United States.” In addition, an increasing number of potential travelers from Japan now found the United States “adventurous,” “energetic,” and “optimistic,” as well as “a place where you always feel welcome.”
In Canada, 82 percent of survey respondents said they would consider visiting more U.S. destinations as a result of the campaign and the market effort strengthened the perception that the U.S. is “a place to indulge myself” and 75 percent found it to be a “place to relax.”
In the United Kingdom, 61% of survey respondents since the campaign launch described the United States as “worth paying more for than other travel destinations”, as well as increasingly “energetic,” “optimistic,” and “a place with limitless possibilities” which “has something for everyone.” The survey results also demonstrated a marked increase in the number of potential travelers who said the United States is “a place where you feel welcome,” “sophisticated,” and “delivers on its promises.”
In addition to its national tourism marketing efforts, Brand USA works closely with the Departments of State and Homeland Security to communicate information to international travelers about U.S. entry policies and procedures. From communicating travel policies through Brand USA’s consumer website, DiscoverAmerica.com, to displaying Brand USA marketing materials in embassies and consulates around the world to establishing a welcoming environment in our ports of entry, Brand USA is collaborating with the Federal government on a wide variety of issues to maximize the returns on the country’s first-ever international tourism marketing campaign.