US unveil bold plans to boost tourism

The United States is embarking on a drive for tourism, as the last ten years have seen tourist numbers slump dramatically.

Since the terror attacks in New York in 2001, the American authorities have brought in increasingly strict security at airports, as well as a complicated visa application process. While the US deemed this necessary to counter the threat of further terrorist attacks, it has led to many tourists choosing to visit somewhere else on holiday.

For this reason, a number of government agencies and private companies have come together to launch Brand USA – a new organisation that will act as tourist board for the country. In 2000, the US had a 17% share of global tourism spending. Twelve years on, and that figure has dropped to just 11%.

In terms of tourist numbers, around 6% of global tourists visited the US last year – placing the country behind France. Europe has benefitted greatly from strict restriction in the US. There are now more Chinese tourists visiting France than the US, for example.

Brand USA is launching an extensive print, web and TV advertising campaign, targeting nations that visit the US – Japan, Canada and the UK. There are also fewer restrictions in the US on travellers from these countries, making them the ideal target for the campaign. Brand USA has said it plans to spend $12.3 million on the campaign in the next year, which it plans to expand to South Korea and Brazil in the coming weeks.

“Dollars are tight today and we want to be very thoughtful about where and when we spend them,” said Stephen J. Cloobeck, the chairman of Brand USA and CEO of Diamond Resorts International. “But we’re doing all this with a smile and a sign that says ‘Welcome to the United States’,” he added. If you are planning a holiday this year, to the US or anywhere else, remember to take out travel insurance before you leave.

Date Created: 09 May 2012

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