Brand USA New Zealand and Australia kicked off partnerships with NZME, Qantas Airlines, Urban Adventures/Intrepid Travel, and American Airlines – all focused on encouraging travelers from those countries to visit the United States.
With the theme “Pop Culture,” Brand USA is joining with NZME – New Zealand’s premier integrated media company – for an interactive campaign titled, “This is Where,” which allows the audience to plan their trip through placing themselves there. Through print, digital, radio, and video, the campaign overlays iconic pop culture experiences within neighborhoods which make the experience truly unique.
Part of the campaign will include Helloworld, which offers New Zealand travelers a wide range of offers on flights, hotels, and packages. The second part of the campaign, kicking off in the first quarter or 2018, will provide destination partner opportunities throughout the campaign.
Qantas and Brand USA, meanwhile, hosted a Travel Agent Experience Day on the Best of USA, providing an interactive and unique learning experience for travel consultants at its Centre of Service Excellence and aircraft hangar in Sydney, Australia.
With over 160 travel agents in attendance, the Best of USA Experience Day was designed to further enhance selling skills for Qantas in partnership with U.S. destinations.
“One of the main reasons that people love traveling to the USA time and time again is the incredible diversity of destinations and experiences to pick from,” said Matt Fletcher, Brand USA director, Australia and New Zealand. “With all the choices, however, one of the things we hear most from travel agents is the need to have all the latest information on the destinations. The Best of USA Experience Day was a perfect opportunity to train on all the latest developments in each of the unique destinations featured.”
Rob Harrison, Qantas head of agency partnerships and business events, agreed, saying: “It was great to see such a strong turnout of agents from right across Australia at our Best of USA travel day hosted in partnership with Brand USA. The USA is an important and growing market for Qantas, both with our own flights to Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Hawaii and our codeshares across the country.”
He said the day provided a “great forum to educate our valued trade partners about Qantas’ latest innovative products and services, along with everything the United States has to offer, making the proposition even easier for them to sell.”
All sessions were educational and interactive, including learning about Qantas’ innovative approach and focus for the future and training on how to sell unique offerings of Brand USA destination partners - LAX Discover Los Angeles, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, NYC & Company, Hawaii Tourism Oceania, Visit Dallas Fort Worth, San Francisco Travel, and San Francisco International Airport.
Following the event, top tier sponsors Los Angeles and San Francisco will engage in a 12-month training plan via Qantas’ agent platforms, including its industry-leading Learning Hub. All training sessions and footage from the Best of USA Experience Day are now available for agents to access on the Learning Hub.
In another partnership, Brand USA partnered with Urban Adventures, part of the Intrepid Group, in a trade and consumer co-op designed to promote exciting new and existing USA product. Destinations included Annapolis, Maryland; Burlington, Vermont; Cincinnati, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Houston, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California; San Francisco, California; and Washington, DC.
It was the first time Brand USA partnered with Intrepid – the world’s largest adventure travel company. The campaign is designed to showcase the variety and breadth of pop culture experiences available within five hours. Intrepid is offering someone the chance to win a trip to the U.S. for one person and nine of his or her friends.
Brand USA also kicked off a multi-channel program with News Corp., which will deliver a three-to-one value with robust digital, print, social, traffic generation and a Travel USA insert distributed throughout News Corp’s Sunday papers.
While Brand USA is encouraging travelers to visit the United States, travel agents in New Zealand and Australia were competitive in the USA Discovery Program’s popular Five-Badge Fun trade incentive. Over 8,200 agents registered to use the USA Discovery Program – an interactive, online training site which provides knowledge for agents to efficiently book trips to U.S. destinations.
The training site includes 37 different badges which showcase the diversity of the USA travel experience. The five new specialist badges were for Wyoming; Chicago, Illinois; Fort Myers/Sanibel, Florida; Illinois; and Alamo. The agents were competing for a two-night Mystery Flights or Air New Zealand Deluxe Mystery Break™ package for two people. The prize includes return economy airfares, two hotel nights and car hire or airport transfers.
In addition, Brand USA Australia and New Zealand in partnership with American Airlines offered its first ever familiarization tour for product managers. Showcasing American Airlines “Five Star Service,” a travel concierge program, the six key product decision makers from Australia and New Zealand enjoyed a packed itinerary that included Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Sonoma, California; San Francisco, California; and West Hollywood, California. The destinations were chosen after a product manager survey on further product development opportunities. The itinerary blended experiencing the destinations firsthand followed with business sessions with ground operators.