America has issued a warning to rival destinations that it is ready to compete for tourists with a global marketing strategy.
Speaking at the Pow Wow trade show in San Francisco, Stephen Cloobeck, chairman of the newly formed Corporation for Travel Promotion, said “the sleeping giant has awoken”.
The CTP has been put together to market the US as a tourism destination using funds raised by Esta visa waiver charges and matched by the US travel industry.
Cloobeck estimated the CTP would have around $200 million to spend on marketing, which when added to the marketing budgets of tourist boards across the various states would amount to close to half a billion dollars.
Describing the CTP as a “game changer”, Cloobeck said the US was finally ready to compete with other tourism destinations for its share of outbound markets.
In the past, the US has been criticised for spending less on central marketing than much smaller destinations such as Fiji.
The CTP has yet to reveal how it intends to deliver its ‘Brand USA’ programme, and there is no guarantee that it will spend the money in markets such as the UK which contribute to the overall budget through visa waiver charges.
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