With the summer travel season on the horizon, industry operators ranging from hotels to entertainment venues should be prepping their marketing strategies. U.S. consumers may be feeling the pinch of higher taxes and gas prices and pulling back on travel plans, but there’s one group of tourists who anticipate spending heavily this summer – international visitors. Travel-related services can increase their business by advertising to this market.
The federal government, along with BrandUSA, a public private partnership, has been promoting the nation to international visitors. This effort is paying off with the U.S. Department of Commerce noting that 66 million foreign visitors spent $168.1 billion here last year. Visitors who come from destinations other than Mexico or Canada spend an average of $4,000 on each trip. Increasingly, these visitors hail from Brazil, China and India. While larger cities along the U.S. coasts benefit most from international tourism, smaller markets are also destinations. Within these markets, restaurants and businesses unique to the local region should be promoting themselves to international tourists while they are in town.
According to a report in the LATimes, the Obama administration is hoping to raise the number of annual international visitors to 100 million by 2021. This growth rate would create additional jobs and should also provide an opportunity for marketers to find new growth in this sector.[Source: Martin, Hugo. Foreign tourists’ spending in U.S. rises to new record. Latimes.com. 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 6 Mar. 2013]