DENVER, Colorado - NTA President Lisa Simon wants the tourism industry to stand strong with Brand USA, as the marketing arm of the United States enters a period of transition.
Brand USA's Chief Executive Officer, Jim Evans, stepped down yesterday after guiding the organization through its first year. The public-private organization was created by Congress in 2010 after the United States' share of international arrivals declined 37 percent during the preceding decade.
âBrand USA is working to bring international travelers back to the United States, and it's critical for all of us in the travel and tourism industry to support the organization,â said Simon, âNTA is grateful to Jim Evans for his leadership, and we look forward to continued progress.â
Simon said she has reached out to Caroline Beteta, Brand USA's Chairman-elect, to offer NTA's continued support. Beteta will serve Brand USA as interim CEO.
Last month, Brand USA launched the nation's first unified marketing campaign, promoting the United States as a premier travel destination in three top-tier markets: Japan, Canada, and the U.K. The campaign includes compelling images and information about the country's diverse tourism product and entry procedures. Other accomplishments during its first year of operation include developing a strong brand identity; creating an informative and promotional web site; and establishing partnerships with more than 250 industry organizations, which will raise more than US$10 million in industry contributions and more than US$30 million in in-kind contributions.
âDestinations, suppliers, and tour operators across the country will benefit from this fresh marketing campaign, but there's no free lunch,â said Simon, here today to address members of Tour Colorado. âBrand USA needs to raise cash and in-kind investments to unlock federal funds set aside for its operation. I call on my industry colleagues to find ways to help,â he added.
Simon cited two examples of NTA's support for Brand USA: The association is collaborating with Brand USA to present the Discover America Pavilion at the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai this November. Revenue from the event will allow Brand USA to obtain matching dollars generated by international tourists' fees. And in May, NTA gave Brand USA an opportunity to speak to industry professionals at the Grassroots Congressional Travel Summit, sponsored by NTA with the Southeast Tourism Society and Destination Marketing Association International.
âOne thing we can all do is advocate for Brand USA and help maintain the momentum,â said Simon, âMake sure your federal legislators know how marketing this country abroad leads to more jobs and prosperity here at home.â
For information about partnership opportunities Brand USA offers, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .