News Release


Brand USA Travel Week Europe 2020 Kicks Off with CEO Keynote Conversation Featuring Christopher L. Thompson (Brand USA) & Arne Sorenson (Marriott International)

Brand USA Global Marketplace Lobby

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 26, 2020) — Today, Brand USA hosts its first event on the Brand USA Global Marketplace platform, Brand USA Travel Week Europe 2020, which will kick off with a CEO Keynote Conversation between Christopher L. Thompson, Brand USA president & CEO and Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president & CEO. The four-day virtual event (October 26-29, 2020) connects Europe with the U.S. travel industry, providing more than 150 buyers from across Europe and approximately 115 U.S. exhibitors the opportunity to discuss the trends, challenges, innovations, and scope to grow visitation to the United States from Europe via one-to-one appointments, networking sessions, and customized Pods featuring digital resources and marketing collateral, such as videos, images, and itineraries. Throughout the week, attendees will be able to join a daily Enrichment Series that provides valuable marketing insights from tourism leaders including but not limited to CEOs, category specialists, and major media.

Christopher L. Thompson, Brand USA president and CEO comments, “Combining inspiring speakers, innovative topics and the latest research, this year’s Enrichment Series promises to inspire fresh thinking and stimulate thought-provoking conversation, at a time when it is needed most. Europe is a priority inbound travel market for the U.S. and through this initiative we are signifying our commitment to driving demand, further fueling the U.S. tourism industry’s recovery.”

Leading off the Enrichment Series, Christopher L. Thompson and Arne Sorenson will partake in a CEO Keynote Conversation about the challenges the tourism industry is facing, the opportunities the coming months and years may bring, and the steps they are taking within their business to address these issues. The following day, Tuesday, October 27 at 11:15AM EDT, Josh Earnest, United Airlines chief communications officer and Adam Sacks, Tourism Economics president will explore the state of the aviation industry and the expectations for restoring travel. This "Aviation: The Transatlantic 'Airscape'” fireside chat will discuss how the experience of flying will change the implications of consumer behavior and how this is impacting regulations and operations.

On Wednesday, October 28, Damon Embling, Euronews World Affairs reporter, will lead the "European Travel Trends" panel discussion with Donald Leadbetter, National Park Service tourism program manager, Andrew Gibson, Wellness Tourism Association chairman, and Jenny Southan, Globetrender editor and founder about the types of products and services European travelers will find appealing post-COVID, and how destinations across the U.S. can position themselves accordingly. During this panel, the impact of the pandemic will be traversed through various European travel trends, from eco-tourism and a new appreciation for the Great Outdoors to the newfound availability to work from anywhere and the prioritization of wellness.

Closing out the Enrichment Series on Thursday, October 29, Stephanie Jones, National Blacks in Travel and Tourism Collaborative founder & CEO, Cheraé Robinson, Tastemakers Africa founder & CEO, and Al Hutchinson, Visit Baltimore president & CEO will dive into how travel companies are beginning to make commitments to support Black employees and Black-owned businesses and share specific examples of how the travel trade can more effectively engage with Black-owned businesses. "This Supporting Black-Owned Travel Businesses" session will explore what this looks like in practice; how companies in Europe and the U.S. can make real change in their purchasing and supply chains, and put impactful actions behind their pledges.

Building off the success of the inaugural event in London last year, Brand USA Travel Week Europe 2020 continues to connect the U.S. travel sector with the biggest players in the European travel industry, laying the foundation for the highly-anticipated return of the European traveler to the USA. The event furthers Brand USA’s efforts in invigorating U.S. tourism as the world recovers.

“After the unprecedented challenges that 2020 has brought, Brand USA Travel Week Europe 2020 provides a welcome opportunity to foster meaningful business relationships, develop innovative tourism products, and critical connections. Together, we’re building the future of U.S. tourism,” says Thompson.

For more information on Brand USA Travel Week Europe 2020, including the full schedule of events, please visit



About Brand USA

Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, was established by the Travel Promotion Act as the nation's first public-private partnership to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and to communicate U.S. travel policies and procedures to worldwide travelers. The organization’s mission is to increase international visitation to the USA in order to fuel the U.S. economy and enhance the image of the United States worldwide. Formed as the Corporation for Travel Promotion in 2010, the public-private entity began operations in May 2011 and does business as Brand USA. According to studies by Oxford Economics, over the past five years Brand USA's marketing initiatives have helped welcome 5.4 million incremental visitors to the USA, benefiting the U.S. economy with more than $38 billion in total economic impact and supporting, on average, more than 51,000 incremental jobs a year.

For industry or partner information about Brand USA, visit To discover more about the USA and the boundless diversity of American travel experiences and authentic, rich culture, please visit Brand USA’s consumer website and follow Visit The USA on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About GoUSA TV

Because every place has a story. GoUSA TV is a premier travel entertainment channel, available at your fingertips with no subscription, no fees and no logins required. Watch full episodes, documentaries and films, told from the diverse perspectives of real people across America. Download. Escape. Explore. GoUSA TV. GoUSA TV is available for download on your iOS or Android device, or on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung TV Plus.

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