The number of agents vying for places on this year’s Brand USA MegaFam has exceeded targets.
More than 930 agents registered their international flight bookings from the UK and Ireland to the US during the entry period from January 2 to April 3.
This was up by 87% from the previous year and exceeded the target set.
The familiarisation tour takes 100 agents from the UK and Ireland on seven different itineraries departing from Heathrow and Gatwick on May 11-12.
The 2016 MegaFam, run with American Airlines and British Airways for the fourth consecutive year, will focus on the great outdoors across 18 states.
Each itinerary will visit a National Park in honour of the centennial of the National Park Service in August. All tours culminate in a grand finale in Huntington Beach, California, on May 18.
Agents will present highlights of their trips and share their variety of experiences with the goal of educating their peers and enabling all attendees to better sell the destinations upon return.
To qualify agents had to book and log flights to the US with American Airlines and British Airways. They were also required to complete a minimum of two badges on the Brand USA Discovery Program agent training site.
Brand USA president and chief executive, Christopher Thompson, said: “We are delighted with this incredible result. We are in our fourth year of activation in the UK and Irish markets and the substantial rise in this year’s MegaFam entries is a reflection of the direct impact that Brand USA’s marketing and partnership efforts with American Airlines and British Airways have made on consumer demand in the market.
“The increase in agent bookings comes from the reignited passion that holidaymakers in the UK and Ireland have for the USA, as well as the agents who are selling it, and we thank all our partners for making the MegaFam happen year after year.”
American’s UK, Ireland and offline sales director, David Thomas, said: “The huge increase in agents who entered for this year’s MegaFam is a testament to the ongoing support of our trade partners.
“The MegaFam demonstrates the combined reach of American Airlines’ and British Airways’ extensive network across the Atlantic and across the United States.
“The variety of destinations available throughout the USA is unparalleled and we thank our trade partners for recognising the benefits of travelling with both airlines.”
Chris Rankin, BA head of consumer sales, added: “We want to say a huge thanks to our trade partners for getting behind this MegaFam and making it the great success it has been.
“The USA is a really important market for us and enormously popular with our customers – so much so we’ve launched a new route to San Jose in California – so promoting those routes and our partnership with American Airlines is critical to us.
“The travel trade is a hugely important part of promoting and booking those routes for us so we’re grateful for all the hard work they’ve put in.”
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