The Travel Industry Association (TIA) will build websites in multiple languages to promote the U.S. as a destination after winning a $3.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.TIA, with the assistance of leading travel industry partners, including several of the State Tourism Offices and Convention and Visitors Bureaus, American Express, Travelocity, Yahoo! and Fodor’s, will build, market and maintain a set of websites aimed at markets that account for roughly 75 per cent of the international inbound travel market.
TIA initially will develop websites in English and Japanese over the next nine months to attract attention primarily from travellers in the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan. The second phase will include development of sites targeting residents of Mexico and Germany. TIA has retained Blue Canopy as technology integrator and Tribal DDB as lead agency to assist in the development and implementation of these sites.
“As the organisation that represents the interests of the entire U.S. travel industry, we’re uniquely positioned to create world class websites that will provide relevant and meaningful information for travellers from key markets throughout the world,” said Roger Dow, President and Chief Executive Officer at TIA. “We opted for a prudent, two-phase approach to ensure the project’s success, and we’re grateful for the confidence shown in our organisation by everyone at the Department of Commerce.”
Dow noted the importance of reaching overseas travellers in particular because that portion of international inbound travel to the U.S. has declined by 17 per cent since 9/11, and the U.S. share of the world travel market has declined by 36 percent since 1992.
“Research shows that people who visit our country think far more favourably of our country than those who have never been here,” Dow said. “Attracting more visitors to the U.S. will help with our image around the world and be a tremendous benefit to our overall economy. These websites are important first steps toward achieving a fully integrated international marketing campaign to market America as a destination to the rest of the world.”
TIA will also work with the National Restaurant Association, International Franchise Association and Shop America Alliance to extend the economic benefits to other industries that typically benefit from international inbound travel.