Dear Partners and Friends,
COVID-19 is profoundly reshaping our lives and impacting the world in ways we couldn’t have imagined. On behalf of the entire team at Brand USA, I offer my thoughts and encouragement to everyone navigating this unprecedented situation, both professionally and personally. These are difficult times for the travel and tourism industry, but we are resilient and will come back with renewed determination. I want you to know that Brand USA is with you, and we are all in this together.
While the road ahead seems daunting, Brand USA remains hopeful and optimistic about the future when people travel again. In fact, it is during times like these that we choose to draw strength and confidence from what the U.S. travel and tourism industry has accomplished in just the span of a decade. After the events of September 11, 2001, our nation experienced an almost decade-long loss of global travel market share. The industry banded together to meet this challenge, and ultimately Congress passed the Travel Promotion Act, which created Brand USA and enabled the country to compete on a level playing field for international visitors and their spending. Since then, the collective efforts of the industry resulted in record-breaking international visitation, a thriving American job market, and a unified voice soared to new heights to inspire visitors across the globe. Together, we rose to the challenge and generated positive results for our economy and communities across the nation.
In the meantime, Brand USA continues to:
Provide guidance, information, and insight
Brand USA will continue to provide current and relevant information to keep track of the quickly changing travel environment and make crucial decisions about resources. Many have bookmarked the central repository of coronavirus information, references, and marketing resources at TheBrandUSA.com/Coronavirus-Updates.
Deliver hope and optimism to our partners and our industry
Though Brand USA has paused our paid media activities, we are strengthening our engagement with the travel trade and delivering a “Stay Home. Stay Inspired.” message to our followers on social media.
While so many of our travel trade partners around the world remain at home, Brand USA is keeping them engaged with educational and entertaining information. For example, our USA Discovery Program is localized in 11 countries and offered in 8 languages, and incentives are currently running in most markets with more launching on a regular basis. With over 40,000 active users all over the globe, they are completing certifications and badges at a record pace. We are also conducting virtual trainings of travel agents and tour operators in key source markets. Collectively, Brand USA has been reaching thousands of travel trade each and every week through trainings, webinars, in-market newsletters.
To engage consumers on social media while they're sheltering in place and looking for entertainment, we are delivering inspirational content with an empathetic and human tone. We launched a virtual road trip on Instagram Stories which allows our audience to explore the USA while at home. In addition, over the past several weeks, we launched a number of new video series on our streaming video network, GoUSA TV. We are encouraging stakeholders to download GoUSA TV for free on connected TV via Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire, or as a mobile app. Anyone who would like to submit videos for consideration on the channel can email [email protected] or visit here for more details.
Develop strategic, purpose-driven marketing programs to stimulate international travel
Brand USA is using this pause in travel activity to build marketing tools to stimulate active consideration and travel bookings at the first indication conditions are appropriate. Our approach will be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time bound. I look forward to sharing more of these tools with you in the coming weeks and to working together to bring international visitors back to your communities.
Thank you for your time, and please stay engaged, healthy, and safe in the weeks and months ahead.
Together, we are marketing the USA!
Christopher L. Thompson
President & CEO