At this past week’s Visit Orlando Connect 360 conference, they invited Brand USA to speak on their current campaign and its latest results as well as touch on opportunities that partners can take advantage of to help align their destination with Discover America, the consumer name of Brand USA. When they presented at last year’s conference, they were still in their infancy with their first fiscal year starting. Now, they were able to talk about their achievements for the first year. I was happy to see the results and it inspired me to share it with you.
Brand USA was started because of the increasing decline in visitation from other countries. Of course, 9/11 and our non-eagerness to let everyone come back in is a big factor, but even with countries that have easier visa rules, those travelers have started to look at other destinations for their vacations. Visit Orlando has commented that they used to have to compete with whole other countries when trying to get international visitors. And so the Travel Promotion Act was signed by Obama and Brand USA was born.
I used to work with a destination that also focused a lot of their efforts on the international audience. They would attend the world travel shows and try to partner with Visit Florida as much as possible. Now, they’re going to be able to have an even bigger presence with the support of Brand USA building a unified effort to convince travelers that the USA overall is the right choice and then the destinations inside the country don’t have to work as hard to get into the consideration set. With overseas visitors spending $4,300 on average per visit and stay on average 17 nights, the destinations will benefit from sharing a little space at the trade show and on the itinerary of that traveler’s vacation.
With their new advertising campaign in select markets, their quantitative pre-/post-studies found that intent to visit was up by 5 to 10% depending on the country. These small percentage points add up to big bucks… and jobs. Oxford Economics estimates that the travel promotion program authorized by the Travel Promotion Act could attract as many as 1.6 million new visitors each year, generate as much as $4 billion in new visitor spending annually and create 40,000 new US jobs.
If you’re interested in an earworm (this word is now in Websters Dictionary, by the way), courtesy of Discover America, check out the new song written and performed by Rosanne Cash.