Letter From the President & CEO
Dear Friends and Partners
The summer months are upon us – a peak time for holiday travel. The USA welcomes approximately 52 percent of the world’s travelers from June through August. Knowing that, we continue to leverage our portfolio of storytelling campaigns to invite them to enjoy the diversity of virtually limitless destinations and experiences the United States offers.
During IPW 2019 in Anaheim, Calif. (June 2-5), many of our successful campaigns were held up high as we marked our eighth year as the premier partner for this annual international travel show hosted by the U.S. Travel Association. Visit Anaheim did a spectacular job making the more than 6,000 travel buyers, destinations, and journalists feel welcome – as well as showcasing the many ways visitors can discover their unexpected, unforgettable character in Anaheim.
By all measures, IPW 2019 was also a major success for Brand USA. Our staff engaged with current partners, potential new partners, and travel trade professionals during 650 appointments and meetings throughout the week. IPW gives Brand USA our biggest stage and brightest lights to provide an update on current campaigns and a look ahead to 2020, including sharing the latest stories captured by our mobile content creation labs as part of our expansive United Stories campaign. Over the past few months our branded labs have ranged from cars (including a Tesla X and a NYC Taxi Cab), a kayak, bike, skate board and surf board. We visited The Kentucky Derby, World Pride in NYC, and The Amgen Tour of California as we road tripped down the coast.
We are thrilled Marriott International – one of our Founding and Diamond partners – has joined us as the official hotel sponsor for United Stories. Marriott is touting its loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, within the United Stories campaign to showcase the breadth, depth, and variety of Marriott’s brands, destinations and hotels throughout the USA. The sponsorship includes branding of the United Stories mobile content creation labs and hosting influencers and content creators at Marriott-brand hotels across the USA.
I would also like to highlight two updates to our international representation. We recently hired Colin Skerritt as Regional Director for Canada, and our first international employee. Additionally, we’ve on-boarded Edelman and I Plus Connect Communications (I Connect) to represent Brand USA in the South Korea market. Together, Edelman and I Connect will allow us to reinforce strong travel trade relationships and increase efforts to reach consumers directly through new and expanded consumer public relations and digital outreach.
Some of the other announcements we made during our press conference at IPW:
- Ongoing, strong return on investment (ROI) results: According to studies by Oxford Economics, Brand USA’s marketing initiatives have helped welcome 6.6 million incremental visitors to the USA in the past six years, benefiting the U.S. economy with $21.8 billion in incremental visitor spending and $47.7 billion in total economic impact, while supporting, on average, nearly 52,000 incremental U.S. jobs a year. Additionally, our return on marketing investment during the same period was an impressive 28:1 – every $1 we spent on marketing generated $28 in spend by international visitors.
- Wide acclaim for “America’s Musical Journey”: Our 2nd giant-screen film has opened in more than 75 theaters across nine countries – with viewers describing it as an “upbeat IMAX film [which] celebrates diversity.” “America’s Musical Journey” is currently playing globally in theaters found here.
- The launch of the 1st connected TV Channel by a destination marketing organization: We launched a proprietary connected TV channel, GoUSA TV, which streams original and episodic features told from the diverse perspectives of people across the USA. The app, rated 4.8 out of 5, is available for download and has been praised for capturing the beauty of the United States, right at your fingertips.
To read more about these and our many other accomplishments during FY2018, I invite you to read our FY2018 annual report, which outlines our progress, activities, financial condition, and accomplishments across our consumer marketing, co-operative marketing opportunities, and global trade development initiatives during the year.
Looking ahead to FY2020, we also announced that in February 2020 we will premiere our third giant-screen film – “Into America’s Wild” (working title). The film, produced in collaboration with MacGillivray Freeman Films and with the support of Expedia Group, will follow trailblazers John Herrington, the first Native American astronaut, and Alaskan pilot Ariel Tweto on a cross-country journey of the USA’s great outdoors. The official trailer for “Into America’s Wild” is available at IntoAmericasWild.com.
This edition of Brand USA’s Industry Newsletter highlights more information about each of these initiatives and the many other ways our marketing strategies and innovative campaigns show international travelers the limitless U.S. travel experiences for them to explore, along with the welcoming nature of Americans.
As always, thank you for your ongoing support.
Together, we are marketing the USA!
Christopher L. Thompson
President & CEO