Insider Exclusive: “Brand USA Is Here to Stay”

Insider Exclusive: “Brand USA Is Here to Stay”

The efforts of the national marketing organization will continue to bring visitors into the United States

ABA Media

Brand USA, the national destination marketing organization, recently released its annual ROI study with Oxford Economics, revealing that its marketing efforts have generated more than 4 million visitors and nearly $14 billion in incremental spend over the last four years. Close to $30 billion in total economic impact can be credited to Brand USA’s marketing initiatives. Despite President Trump’s proposed budget cut to eliminate funding for Brand USA, Brand USA’s President and CEO Chris Thompson says Brand USA is here to stay. “We are now active in over 40 markets around the world, which represent 90 percent of all inbound travel to the U.S.,” Thompson told reporters at a press conference at IPW on June 5. This is good news for motorcoach operators, tour operators, and destinations who will want to be ready now more than ever to offer “one big welcome” to international visitors to the U.S.

The Big Welcome

Brand USA has deployed numerous initiatives to increase visitation to the U.S., including the “One Big Welcome” campaign encouraging everyone in the U.S. to tell others around the world that America “welcomes them.” In addition, their direct-to-consumer social media campaign, new consumer website, and the giant-screen film, America Wild: National Parks Adventure, are having a worldwide impact, with a second film to be released in February 2018. For those in the motorcoach travel and tourism industry, their own footprint gives them the unique opportunity to tell their story every time they charter a bus, organize a group tour, or entertain visitors. Several ABA members are using their own resources and opportunities to welcome not only international, but also domestic customers.

Atlanta Gets Ready to Welcome China

William Pate, president and CEO of ABA member Atlanta CVB, is ready to showcase Atlanta’s world-class cultural, educational, and retail offerings to the Chinese tourism officials who will be descending upon the city when it hosts the 2017 U.S.–China Tourism Leadership Summit. The summit will be a big boost to Atlanta’s tourism industry. China currently ranks No. 1 in terms of spending by overseas visitors in Atlanta (Top 10 Origin Markets by Travel Spending on U.S. Visits, 2015, U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Travel Association report), and by 2024, it will most likely be the No. 1 inbound market to Atlanta.

Cape Cod Extends Warm Welcome

For Patti Lloyd, CTIS, CIS, and Vice President of Sales at the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce/CVB, working with partners and having a presence at trade shows is a key component to knowing what visitors are looking for and making sure they feel welcome. The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce/CVB works closely with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) and Discover New England (DNE) on all FAM tours to Cape Cod and even participates in sales missions led by MOTT/DNE or generated through their own relationships in target markets of Canada and the UK. In addition, says Patti, “We host press visits for both domestic and international media, maintain an online press room, share a photo library of high resolution images, and send out b-roll.” The Cape Cod CVB, who has a presence at ABA’s Annual Meeting & Marketplace as well as OMCA and IPW, is always willing to “disseminate leads to hospitality partners, including those from MOTT and MOTT's seasonal theme schedule.”

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.


Melanie Hinton, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, ABA
Office: (202) 218-7220
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