Brand USA Newsletter - July 2019

Brand USA Presents Array of Partner Opportunities, Consumer Campaigns at IPW 2019

Brand USA team at IPW

For the eighth-straight year, Brand USA – the nation’s destination-marketing organization – was the premier sponsor of IPW, the U.S. travel industry’s single-greatest exposition for booking international travel to the United States. The U.S. Travel Association presents this annual event. This year’s IPW was held June 1-6, in Anaheim, Calif.

The combined efforts of Brand USA and U.S. Travel helped to drive $5.5 billion in future, direct travel spending in the United States. Overall, 6,000 travel buyers from 70 countries came to IPW, along with 500 journalists.

"IPW, every year, affords us the biggest stage and the brightest lights to celebrate the collective success we’ve had with our stakeholders,” said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA. “Congrats to the U.S. Travel Association, and our hosts – Visit Anaheim and Visit California – for another highly productive event.”

Brand USA hosted 440 pre-scheduled appointments with buyers during the five-day event. Brand USA representatives also held more than 40 appointments with journalists during a “media marketplace.” And, Brand USA generated 40,000 impressions across social-media platforms during IPW.

Brand USA’s role as the premier sponsor of IPW will continue through 2024, according to a Brand USA statement at the event. 

Partner Programs

On the partner side, Brand USA provided a total of nine presentations that addressed partner programs. (Four of the sessions were re-occurring.) Additionally, Brand USA representatives held 192 partner-engagement meetings.

International sales missions, which allow Brand USA partners to pitch their products and services to the travel trade in key global markets, are among Brand USA’s most significant partner programs.

This July, for instance, Brand USA hosts its third annual mission to Japan and South Korea, with visits to Tokyo and Seoul. And, in September, Brand USA runs its eighth mission to India, where partners will have meet with tour operators and travel agents in three cities, Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai.

During 2020, Brand USA has sales missions going to Mexico (January), China (March), and back to Japan and South Korea (July to August).

Brand USA partners can also opt to participate in a year-round schedule of international trade shows under the umbrella of a Brand USA pavilion at each event. The line-up of shows includes: IFTM Top Resa (Paris); ITB Asia (Singapore); WTM (London); ITB (Berlin); WTM (Sao Paulo); ATM (Dubai); and ITB China.

Third film in 2020

Brand USA, during IPW, announced that its third giant-screen film, “Into America’s Wild,” will be released in February 2020. The film follows John Herrington, the first Native-American astronaut, and Ariel Tweto, an Alaskan pilot, as they immerse themselves in outdoor adventures across the U.S. landscape.

As with its two previous films, “National Parks Adventure” and “America’s Musical Journey,” Brand USA partnered with independent filmmaker MacGillivray Freeman to create the upcoming third film. Again, Expedia Group is a major sponsor.

A 2018 study – prepared by Phocuswright and Oxford Economics – showed that the first Brand USA film, “National Parks Adventure,” enticed more than 172,000 incremental visitors to the United States. This influx generated $1.5 billion for the national economy.

Press Conference

Brand USA also held a press conference at IPW to discuss its current marketing efforts. Discussion focused on these topics:

  • India is a significant source market for future inbound U.S. travel. Brand USA is well-positioned to participate in public-private programs that tap into this market.
  • The ongoing, annual U.S.—China Leadership Summit, which strengthens connections between the U.S. and Chinese travel industries, will be held this year in Seattle, Washington, Sept. 17-22.
  • United Stories” is an always-on, storytelling campaign designed to highlight local and authentic travel experiences throughout the United States to travelers from around the world. The campaign, a collaboration between Brand USA and its agency partner Beautiful Destinations, allows Brand USA to capture and distribute content at the speed of consumer consumption.
  • Impetus for “United Stories” emerged out of Brand USA’s desire to show the world that the USA is a nation of “many voices” – a mosaic of numerous traditions, stories, and outlooks that makes up the entirety of the USA. As a result, the United States presents a diverse and limitless range of travel experiences in, near and beyond traditional gateway destinations, Brand USA officials say.
  • Hear the Music, Experience the USA 2019” is an updated, integrated-marketing campaign that promotes U.S. destinations through their ties to American music. It surfaced in tandem with the 2018 release of Brand USA’s second giant-screen film, “America’s Musical Journey.”
Chris Thompson speaking at podium

Market Trends

Several Brand USA in-market experts presented a “Market Trends Update” that provided an IPW audience with the latest information about source markets in India, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Europe.

India - Sheema Vohra, the managing director for India, spoke first. Here are some of her findings:

  • Indian millennials are traveling with friends, on solo trips and with their families. They are looking for immersive, local experiences; outdoor activities; road trips; and non-hotel lodging, such as airbnbs.
  • Nearly one of every five people (19 percent) in the world, ages 20 through 34, resides in India.
  • Indian travelers are well-informed, sophisticated and educated.
  • By 2025, India will have the world’s third largest economy. It’s presently the fastest-growing economy.
  • India has the youngest global population. The average age is 27.
  • Social media, as would be expected with a younger population, ranks as a powerful travel influencer.
  • The number of affluent people in India is on the rise.
  • More than 60 cities in India have populations that exceed 1 million.
  • India has 32 national airports, and 105 regional and local ones.
  • The 10 most popular state destinations for Indian travelers (in order of preference) are: New York; California; Hawai'i; Florida; Washington, DC; Alaska; Texas; New Jersey; Mississippi; and New Mexico.

United Kingdom & Ireland - Ava Mehta, sales and marketing account director, UK and Ireland, followed with her presentation.

  • Nineteen airports in the UK and Ireland offer 167 direct flight routes to 37 U.S. gateway destinations.
  • New air routes in 2019 provide direct service to Charleston, Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
  • The 10 most popular state destinations for Indian travelers (in order of preference) are: California; New York; Florida; Hawaii; Texas; Alaska; Washington, DC; Nevada; Colorado; and Arizona.
  • Millennials in the UK are driving the growth in the travel sector. They intend to go on 41 percent more trips and spend 20 percent more.
  • Travelers from the UK and Ireland are increasingly more aware of sustainable tourism. Now, 45 percent say sustainability, the impact they have on a destination while visiting it, is a significant element for booking travel. This is a sharp rise from last year, when 6 percent said sustainability was important.
  • Half of all millennial travelers select holiday destinations based on social media content.
  • More than 75 percent of all UK travelers are interested in coming to the United States.

Europe - Samuel Hancock, senior strategic director for UK and Europe, rounded out the series of presentations with his presentation.

  • Europe has 11 primary airports. Carriers at these hubs provide 219 direct flight routes to 38 U.S. destinations.
  • Repeat travelers to the United States from Europe are looking to go to previously unexplored areas on their U.S. next trips.
  • Italian and Spanish travelers tend to make their reservations at the last minute.
  • Nearly four out of five Germans (78 percent) are planning at least one 2019 holiday of five days or more. The USA is still the favorite long-haul destination.
  • Italian travelers have shown increased interest in food and wine tourism, and wellness holidays.
  • More than 15 million Spaniards traveled abroad during 2018, a 12-percent jump over the preceding year.
  • Travelers from the Netherlands have an affinity for camping holidays with RVs.
  • Between 60 percent and 65 percent of French travelers have already been to the United States.

Travel Week

Brand USA also announced that its inaugural “Brand USA Travel Week” will be held in London, Sept. 9-13. This upcoming exposition showcases a diverse range of travel experiences that are available throughout the USA – in all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia.

The focus of Travel Week will be on one-to-one, B2B appointments that allow U.S. industry suppliers to promote their products and services to invited tour operators from the U.K. and Europe. in an environment made up of 60 percent buyers and 40 percent suppliers.

Additionally, an Enrichment Series features prominent speakers and discussions that address current topics of interest in the global travel industry.

The Brand USA Press Conference, Market Trends Update, and Partner Engagement Session is available to watch here.  Additionally, photos from IPW 2019 can be found here. For up-to-date information on IPW 2019, and for more information on next year’s IPW in Las Vegas, Nevada, please visit here.