In yesterday’s post, we asked the rhetorical question “Can A Rebranding Campaign Boost Tourism to the U.S.?”
According to new research that’s just out, apparently so.
Brand USA, a public-private partnership that aims to improve the image of the U.S. around the world for the purpose of increasing international visitation to the States, is now citing a study by Oxford Economics that shows the new advertising campaign — called “Discover America, Land of Dreams” — resulted in 1.1 million new visitors to the U.S. in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013. That’s a 2.3 percent increase over the number that would have visited without the campaign.
Those 1.1 million visitors, according to the study, spent $3.4 billion in the U.S. and had a total impact on the economy of $7.4 billion, supporting 53,181 new jobs.
For every $1 that Brand USA spent (some $73 million, none of them U.S. taxpayer dollars), $47 was generated for U.S. companies, the study concludes.
The study analyzed eight key countries — Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and the United Kingdom — where Brand USA fully implemented its consumer and trade outreach programs.
The “Land of Dreams” campaign is the first nationally coordinated international tourism marketing effort by the U.S., reflecting a growing — but too long delayed — recognition of the power of tourism to the economy. Tourism as a whole represents some 3 percent of the nation’s GDP.
“The benefits extend well beyond the travel industry to include retail, restaurants, transportation and other businesses,” notes Brand USA’s CEO and president Christopher Thompson.
Oxford Economics, which conducted the study, is associated with Oxford University’s prestigious business college. Brand USA was established in 2010 by the Travel Promotion Act, and works in concert with the travel industry. Public contributions are raised from fees assessed to international visitors traveling on a visa-free basis to the U.S.
Not only is this beneficial to the U.S. economy, any campaign that can improve the image of the U.S. abroad is beneficial to Americans — baby boomers and otherwise — who travel overseas. If the U.S. is more welcoming to international visitors, chances are they’ll be more welcoming to Americans.
You can download the entire study at the Brand USA website. Brand USA also has a consumer website that provides information on “exceptional and unexpected experiences in the U.S.” (available in eight languages).
For more on my take on Brand USA, go here.
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