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BRAND USA: COMMUNICATING TRAVEL POLICY
March 5, 2018

Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, is mandated by the Travel Promotion Act to market the entirety of the United States to, through, and beyond the gateways, to communicate U.S. travel policies and procedures and to correct any misperceptions about those policies.

Brand USA fulfills this duty by furthering the understanding of U.S. travel policies through various consumer and trade channels and helping international travel trade, media, and visitors link directly to the official information sources at the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and State.

Brand USA works closely with its federal partners and the Tourism Policy Council (TPC), led by the Department of Commerce, to develop platforms to deliver messaging on visa and entry policy as well as any travel policy changes that may come from Congress or Executive Branch agencies. When a change in travel policy occurs, Brand USA’s role is to communicate that information in tandem with our ongoing efforts to promote the range of diverse destinations and nearly limitless travel experiences available in the USA. We are proud that the people of the United States love to welcome international travelers and share with them the places and experiences they love the most and which make the United States a great place to travel.

Brand USA’s ability to reach and influence international traveler decisions to visit the USA is especially important when traveler uncertainty or misperceptions exist. Working in tandem with its federal partners, Brand USA continues to ensure that consumers, trade, media and partners are aware of any updated travel policies while minimizing rumor and speculation in each market. Brand USA also shares this information with its partners to support their efforts.

Brand USA has communicated several items that have been in the news recently that may have a bearing on international travel to the United States. Most notably, we have shared changes to visa policies and procedures and updates to aviation security, ensuring that our partners are equipped with the most up-to-date information. In order to fully commit to communicating travel policy as an important component of inviting, welcoming, and thanking international travelers who visit the United States, we have also provided our partners with our updated core messaging so they may incorporate the language into their websites and messaging as applicable.

These are distributed to reach a wide audience and have included travel alerts, webinars, e-blasts, conference calls and partner outreach. Brand USA provides consumers with direct links to federal resources for consistency and accuracy on the VisitTheUSA.com “Travel Information” section.

In addition, Brand USA uses its travel trade and media relationships to provide a platform for the federal agencies to directly communicate policy updates. We incorporate federal partners into key outreach such as roadshows, trade shows, and sales missions, among others. For example, in recent months, U.S. Customs and Border Protection participated in the USA pavilions at FITUR in Madrid and ITB in Berlin, as well as the Brand USA China sales mission. In the coming months, Brand USA will work with the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Customs and Border Protection, and the Transportation Security Administration to showcase their information at IPW in Denver.

Travel policy always is communicated alongside of Brand USA’s core message: The USA is as amazing as ever. The reasons people want to visit the USA remain the same today as they have always been - our destinations, our experiences and our people. This is core to Brand USA’s marketing efforts to promote the USA as a premier travel destination.

For more information on how Brand USA communicates travel policy, please contact: Aaron Wodin-Schwartz, Vice President of Public Policy at Brand USA.