US marketing body hopes for British gains

US marketing body hopes for British gains

New US marketing body the Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP) plans its first campaign before the end of year, with the UK a likely target.

Set up last year as a public-private partnership, the corporation will have the US's first-ever national budget for inbound tourism promotion. The funds will come from the $14 per person fee levied on visitors from the UK and other visa-waiver countries, supplemented by private-sector funding.

CTP chairman Stephen Cloobeck said public funds for the first year has been pledged at a rate of 2:1 against any private money raised, once the first $10 million of industry funding is in the bag.

Board member Diane Shober said: “We hope to have the first activity underway by the end of the year.” The CTP is due to receive its first funds in October.

Shober and Cloobeck refused to identify the markets the CTP would hit first, but the UK is a likely early target.

US Travel Association (USTA) president and chief executive Roger Dow said: “We had a lost decade in the US between 2000 and 2010, and we have seen a significant loss of numbers from the UK. You can’t turn on the TV in the UK without seeing an advert for Turkey, Greece or Dubai.”

Cloobeck said: “It’s incumbent on everyone in the trade to participate in cash or in kind.”

CTP vice-chairman Caroline Beteta, president and chief executive of the California Travel and Tourism Commission, said: “We will develop a five year plan looking at potential growth areas, currency exchange rates, the desire and intention to travel, air lift, barriers to travel, and what the industry is already doing.”

The CTP may even form partnerships with neighbouring destinations Canada and Mexico, according to Cloobeck.

The corporation announced the appointment of a chief executive, James Evans, a former head of hospitality group Best Western and vice-president of marketing at Hyatt Hotels.  Evans will make his first public appearance as head of the CTP at US trade show Pow Wow in San Francisco later this month.

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