News Release


John Herrington announced as keynote speaker for Brand USA Travel Week Europe 2019

John Herrington headshot

Today, Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, announced John Herrington, the first Native American astronaut, as one of the keynote speakers at the inaugural Brand USA Travel Week Europe in London from Sept. 9-12, 2019. Herrington will be part of Brand USA Travel Week Europe’s inspiring Enrichment Series, bringing attendees an engaging program of speaker sessions designed to encourage fresh thinking and stimulate discussions.
On the opening day of the event on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, at County Hall – a large, multi-use event space situated on London's Southbank with views of The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and the London Eye – Herrington will address 100 U.S. exhibitors about his love of America’s great outdoors. A proud supporter of the USA’s National Parks and green spaces, in 2008, Herrington completed a three month 4,300-mile cross-country bicycle ride through the U.S. from Cape Flattery, Washington, to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Herrington will also be featured as one of the inspiring U.S. trailblazers exploring the United States in Brand USA’s third film for IMAX® and giant-screen theaters – “Into America’s Wild” (working title). Produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films in association with Expedia Group, the film is scheduled to premiere in Washington, DC in Feb. 2020. The film will take international audiences on a journey across the United States, exploring scenic byways, ancient homelands, little known trails, and hidden gems that form the natural tapestry of America.
During his 22-year career, Herrington became the first member of a federally recognized tribe (Chickasaw) to travel to space, taking part in a historic 13-day NASA mission to the International Space Station in 2002, which included three space walks. Prior to his space adventures, he was a naval aviator. He also supported the Center for Space Studies at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and returned to further his education by earning a doctorate in education before embarking on a career in motivational public speaking.
“Sharing his stories of challenges, leadership, motivation, and mentorship, John Herrington will both educate and entertain attendees at the inaugural Brand USA Travel Week Europe. I couldn’t think of a better person to kick off our inspiring speaker series,” said Christopher L. Thompson, Brand USA president and CEO. “Offering our exhibitors, buyers, and sponsors a unique insight into his world is sure to set the perfect tone for what is set to be a game-changing week.”
Brand USA Travel Week Europe 2019 will be an immersive celebration of the United States, showcasing the diverse range of travel experiences available throughout the 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. The event provides a revolutionary business platform for U.S. suppliers to engage with key buyers from the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe, who have a strong interest in leveraging opportunities to grow arrivals to the USA. The event will focus on B2B appointments, a series of enrichment workshops and seminars, as well as networking opportunities and evening receptions. Brand USA Travel Week will act as a vehicle to support growth in the U.S. travel sector and will create more opportunities than ever before to inspire UK and European travelers to visit the USA to, through, and beyond the gateways.
For more information on Brand USA Travel Week, visit


Hills Balfour 
Mark McCulloch
Public Relations Senior Director, UK, Ireland, & Europe
+44 (0) 207 593 1715
[email protected]
Brand USA Consumer Media & Public Relations
Monica Ceballos
Director, Consumer & Trade Public Relations
+1 202.735.2320
[email protected]

Brand USA Corporate Communications
Colleen Mangone
Director, Media Relations
+1 202.793.6376
[email protected]



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.