Brand USA, in partnership with Air New Zealand, arranged six itineraries for the 2018 “Backstage USA” MegaFam, which took place August 16-25, 2018 and allowed 60 travel agents from Australia and New Zealand to experience the United States.
The itineraries introduced the agents to particular regions of the United States through the prism of the music that the regions are known for. The agents split into six 10-person groups, one group for each itinerary.
Inspiration for the MegaFam came from Brand USA’s second giant-screen documentary, “America’s Musical Journey,” which was released earlier this year. The film explores the diverse musical heritage of the United States through on-screen visits to cities and towns across the U.S. landscape that have prominent links to music.
After the agents from “down under” – 30 from Australia and 30 from New Zealand – completed their group itineraries, they assembled in Las Vegas, Nevada, the “entertainment capital of the world” for sightseeing and the MegaFam’s grand finale. They also shared their impressions of, and information about, the places they saw and the things they did while following their group itineraries.
This was the fifth yearly Brand USA MegaFam for travel professionals from Australia and New Zealand and it was the first time this MegaFam has included visits to Alaska, North Dakota, Montana, Illinois, and Michigan.
The six 2018 itineraries were:
- Rocking the Pacific Northwest – Visiting Washington and Oregon
- Soul Sounds of the South – Visiting Louisiana and Mississippi
- Dancing through the Midwest – Visiting Illinois and Michigan
- Neighborhood Vibes – Visiting California and Arizona
- Folk Songs from the Last Frontier – Visiting Alaska
- Native American Sounds – Visiting Montana and North Dakota
The travel agents who secured invitations for this MegaFam became eligible through the number of bookings they made, during a designated incentive period, for Air New Zealand flights from Australia and New Zealand to the United States. Additionally, the agents had to be registered users of Brand USA’s online-training platform, the USA Discovery Program, and had to complete the requirements for a Regional Expert Badge.