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Hiking along Virginia's Appalachian Trail is a favorite activity of international visitors. Photo by Clark Norton

Hiking along Virginia’s Appalachian Trail is a favorite activity of international visitors. Photo by Clark Norton

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.

The East Brother Lightstation in San Francisco Bay beckons international visitors looking for a unique lodging experience. Photo by Clark Norton

The East Brother Lightstation in San Francisco Bay beckons international visitors looking for a unique lodging experience. Photo by Clark Norton

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.

Be sure to download my free report, “How to Ride the Coming Wave of Boomers,” available here. It’s all about the best ways to market travel to baby boomers — the biggest-spending group of travelers the world has ever seen. It’s also the easiest way to subscribe to my blog, so you won’t miss a posting. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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