Brand USA, the destination-marketing organization for the US, has generated more than three million incremental visitors from around the globe during the past three years, according to a study recently released by Oxford Economics, an independent research firm based in Oxford, England.
Those international visitors accounted for US$ 9.5 billion in incremental spending, which injected more than US$ 21billion into the US economy. It also produced nearly US$ 900 million in federal, state, and local taxes, and supported, on average, 50,000 incremental jobs each year.
“Everything we have accomplished has hinged on the steady support of our expanding partner network and a globally co-ordinated marketing programme that brings together our collective efforts,” said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO, Brand USA.
A driving force of Brand USA’s marketing efforts, Thompson said, is the goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors to the US in a single year by 2021. This is a target President Obama set in 2012 with the release of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, an initiative that is helping to create more US jobs through the expansion of the tourism sector. Achieving this goal will require a nearly five per cent CAGR in visitation over the next six years, which is a growing challenge according to Thompson. He commented, “In the face of a strong dollar combined with lukewarm economic recovery in our mature source markets and slowing growth in our biggest emerging markets, impactful destination marketing is more important than ever.”
Thompson said visitation from countries where Brand USA actively markets is growing at a faster pace than overall visitation to the United States.
During fiscal year 2015 (FY2015), Brand USA has made progress toward its mission of increasing
international visitation and spend to the US in order to fuel the nation’s economy. Brand USA has also expanded the USA consumer campaign from 11 markets in FY2014 to 12 markets in FY2015 (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and the United Kingdom). In total, these markets generate more than 80% of all international visitation to the United States.
“Our direct-to-consumer marketing continues to expand to new markets – and is now playing globally through valuable media partnerships. Our co-operative marketing opportunities are adding value and creating all-new platforms to showcase US destinations and experiences to the world. Our travel trade outreach is forging new relationships with the travel trade around the world. We are collaborating as never before with our federal partners to tell the stories of our national treasures and deliver a welcome message to the world,” added Thompson.
Brand USA’s marketing programmes and initiatives are designed to increase inbound visitor travel to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five territories of the USA, as well as promote tourism to rural and urban areas equally, including areas not traditionally visited by international travellers. To accomplish this, Brand USA utilises a combination of brand marketing, public relations, travel trade outreach, and co-operative marketing programmes.
Support for Brand USA’s operations comes from a combination of non-federal contributions from partner organisations representing destinations, travel brands and private-sector companies, and matching funds collected by the US government from international visitors who travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Programme.