The newly formed body responsible for marketing the US as a tourism destination has pledged to focus its investment in core markets and will consult the UK travel trade as it forms its strategy.
The Corporation for Travel Promotion intends to unveil its roadmap for promoting “Brand USA” this autumn before commencing advertising and marketing activity in 2012.
It expects to have a budget of around $200 million raised from Esta fees paid by travellers from visa waiver countries including the UK and investment from the private sector.
Addressing concerns that funds raised from visa waiver countries would be earmarked for investment in developing source markets such as Brazil and China, the CTP’s new chief executive Jim Evans said it would be a mistake to overlook the UK.
“We are hooked at the hip and there is absolutely no way forward without a great effort in the UK,” he told Travel Weekly. “We can never think about walking away from those markets [visa waiver countries] by investing more in the emerging markets,” he added.
Evans also confirmed he would consult the trade through the Visit USA Association, and intended to visit the UK to get the views of US specialists in two to three months’ time as the CTP’s corporate structure and strategy began to take shape.
Caroline Beteta, vice-chairman of the CTP and chief executive of the California Travel and Tourism Commission, said educational tools and marketing materials for tour operators and travel agents could be considered as part of the strategy.
But she added: “The number one benefit is bringing in marketing that will drive business.”
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