In 2010, the U.S. Congress established the Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP) with the dual goals of marketing U.S. travel to an international audience and boosting job creation to support the new business this initiative will bring. The CTP is a partnership between the federal government and the travel industry. The organization has just hired an ad agency and plans to work with state destination marketing groups to build Brand America.
The CTP has a $200 million annual budget, much of that funded by a new fee being levied by the Department of Homeland Security on international visitors who enter the U.S. Officials hope the new national effort to improve America’s image will bring more visitors into the country. Traditionally, each state in the U.S. positioned itself as an attractive destination to international visitors. But since the September 11 attacks, international tourism has dropped, along with employment in the tourism industry. Industry experts say that the rising economic tides in fast-growing countries like India, China and Brazil are enabling more people to travel. The average international tourist spends about $4,000 while visiting the U.S. And, currently, top spots in the U.S. for international visitors include:
- New York City
Last week, the CTP hired JWT as the agency of record that will create the first ever global campaign to persuade international visitors to come to America. The agency hopes to present its marketing and branding strategy in November at the World Travel Market in London. The goal is to begin implementing the ad campaign in 2012.
The CEO of CTP indicates “It has become clear that the days are long gone when America could rely on reputation and word-of-mouth.” As the CTP begins its advertising campaign, state and local destination marketing organizations also expect more states to increase their tourism marketing budgets. The CTP will produce TV spots, print ads and website to promote the ‘undiscovered U.S.’ including states such as Mississippi and Alabama.[Sources: Evans, Jim. America dusts off its welcome mat for global travelers. 8 Jul. 2011. CNN.com. 6 Sept. 2011; Parekh, Rupal. America Gets Its Own CMO. Adage.com. 29 Aug. 2011. Web. 6 Sept. 2011; Release. Corporation for Travel Promotion. 22 Aug. 2011. Web. 6 Sept. 2011]