Using the simple branding ‘USA’, the first ever coordinated global marketing for America will promote the country under the four pillars of great outdoors, urban excitement, culture and indulgence.
A website went live earlier and the USA logo debuted on collaborative marketing in Italy this morning. ‘Brand ambassadors’- travellers who already love the States - will be invited to share their experiences through social networking.
Brand USA, a non-profit organisation with government support was founded around a year ago to create a coordinated marketing strategy for the country.
Chief executive Jim Evans said: “We are one of the few nations that hasn’t had a brand to support all those Visit groups that have been doing a good job for years.”
Speaking at the launch at WTM 2011, the leading global travel event for the travel industry, Evans called the last ten years the “lost decade” saying: “We’ve gone from a 17 per cent share of the global travel market to 12 per cent today and that’s pretty painful.”
Brand USA is seeking to raise $200 million a year for promotional activity – half through the private sector and half through international visitor fees.
It hopes to have an initial $10 million plus $40 million in kind by October 2012.
The money raised through the ESTA scheme will not be ring-fenced to source country but Evans said those that generate the most visitors would naturally receive a high marketing spend.
UK residents can sign up to a pilot project called Global Traveller which fast tracks trusted visitors, who have had a background check, through US immigration. A booth near the Brand USA stand will be handling applications during WTM.
Research having shown that the US has a perception of having unfriendly borders, Brand USA will also be highlighting the new edict that immigration staff tell visitors ‘welcome’ and ‘thank you for coming’.