The chief executive of America’s marketing organisation has said he is confident that efforts to promote the US will not be hampered by the election of a new president this year.
Addressing concerns about protectionist views voiced by presidential candidate Donald Trump, Brand USA’s Chris Thompson said he believed a close relationship with nine non-elected government agencies would help persuade the new president of the value of travel and tourism to the US.
Speaking at the IPW conference in New Orleans, he said: “We know we are going to have a new commander-in-chief this year, but we have a more compelling story about the travel and tourism industry [than before the creation of Brand USA] and we are confident we will have a great and supportive relationship.”
He added that Brand USA’s marketing message was now “in the DNA” of the federal agencies the organisation works with, and described those within the agencies as “career service people” who could influence policy from within government.
Thompson insisted the US was on track to reach a target of 100 million international visitors per year by 2021, but admitted headwinds including a strong dollar were presenting challenges.
When the target was initially set, it required compound annual growth (CAGR) in international visitors of 4.6%. This figure fell to 4.2% after a strong 2014, but has now risen to 4.8% with the Canadian market in particular being affected.
Research conducted by Oxford Economics claims that Brand USA’s marketing efforts have resulted in an additional three million incremental visitors over the past three years, and an additional $9.5 billion in incremental spending.
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