Brand USA, the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for the United States, opened IPW 2022, the industry’s leading inbound travel trade show. Brand USA President and CEO, Chris Thompson, catalogued the progress made since U.S. borders reopened to vaccinated travelers and provided new details about Brand USA’s recovery framework, which was recently submitted to Congress. U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis, Grant T. Harris, joined Thompson on stage to unveil the United States’ new National Travel and Tourism Strategy.
“These relationships and history of productive collaboration position Brand USA and the federal government for the launch of a new National Travel and Tourism strategy that will help guide interagency and public-private collaboration on travel in the months and years ahead.”
The new strategy aims to improve the United States’ competitive position in attracting international visitors and increasing travel and tourism to promote economic growth and job creation across the nation over the next five years. “The importance of the travel and tourism industry to the nation’s economy and its overall health and well-being cannot be overstated,” said Assistant Secretary Harris. “Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo’s release of the 2022 National Travel and Tourism Strategy today underscores the Biden-Harris Administration’s support for the travel and tourism industry and its workforce. The important work federal agencies are doing in concert with Brand USA and the private sector is aimed directly at re-establishing international inbound tourism as the economic powerhouse it has long been for the United States.”
Brand USA’s role as a public-private partnership has evolved over the past 10 years. The first National Travel and Tourism Strategy opened tremendous possibilities for the nation’s DMO to team up with a variety of federal government partners to inspire travel to the USA, communicate U.S. visa and entry policies, market the welcome as well as promote public lands and waters. Over the past decade, Brand USA has established a collaborative relationship across the federal agencies that have borne fruit in the form of joint presence at trade shows and events, promotional toolkits for U.S. embassies and consulates, immersive promotion of national treasures, collaboration on bilateral tourism initiatives and high-level economic dialogues.
Thompson commented: “These relationships and history of productive collaboration position Brand USA and the federal government for the launch of a new National Travel and Tourism strategy that will help guide interagency and public-private collaboration on travel in the months and years ahead.”
“With the government and the private sector working together, we are confident the goal of welcoming 90 million international visitors who will spend $279 billion annually while visiting the depth and breadth of the United States can and will be achieved,” concluded Harris.
During his presentation, Thompson outlined new details about Brand USA’s recovery framework. The framework includes three communications tasks: prove we’re ready, welcome the world back, and entice and convert. Proving we’re ready consists primarily of hosting international influencers who demonstrate to their large followings that the USA is open and eager to receive visitors.
Brand USA to date has hosted 26 global influencers on nine trips reaching nearly nine million people and more than 186 million impressions. Welcoming the world back entails targeting global travelers with inspirational storytelling that invites them to experience the wonderful and diverse places and experiences that can only be seen in the United States. Brand USA has produced 11 new pieces of content that cover all regions of the country and provide a genuine and heartfelt welcome to viewers. These include a collaboration with Walt Disney World.
Thompson unveiled the “Generations of Magic” video presented by Visit The USA, Brand USA’s consumer brand. The video is part of a full suite of content that will be used in both owned and paid digital channels as part of the campaign and will be produced in nine languages: English, Spanish – LATAM and Castilian, French, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, and German.
Thompson further underscored how collaboration and strategic partnerships are critical to advancing the industry’s collective goals of encouraging inbound travel to the country. He noted: “Brand USA is taking several steps to rebuild and amplify consumer confidence, from helping partners increase their global reach to implementing programs that support enriching experiences for travelers visiting U.S. destinations in compelling new ways.” During his presentation, Thompson revealed Brand USA’s latest partner collaboration.
Brand USA and the Kentucky Department of Tourism will kick off the “Kentucky Bourbon Experience,” which leverages bourbon as a cultural representation of the state and was designed to generate further awareness among international visitors as well as drive economic growth to local communities.