The U.S. is on a winning streak when it comes to attracting visitors. U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson says the United States can expect a 4-5 percent average annual growth number in tourism over the next five years, and that 65.4 million foreign travelers are projected to visit the United States in 2012 alone. 2011 brought 62 million visitors to these shores.
He made his comments at the annual Pow Wow, the US Travel Associations conference of international tourism held in Los Angeles last month and attended by Travel-Intel. The Spring 2012 Travel and Tourism Forecast, released semi-annually by the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA), predicts continued strong growth through 2016 following two consecutive visitor volume records set in 2010 and 2011.
“Growth in travel and tourism – which impacts nearly every state and community across America – will help support millions of American jobs and achieve the President’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014,” Bryson said. “Today’s forecast is a positive sign that the travel and tourism industry – our number-one services export – is growing stronger. We will remain focused on making the U.S even more welcoming to visitors, and our message to the world is clear: the United States is open for business.”
The news is good for hotels and resorts across the U.S., destination CVBs, tour operators and travel agents who can reach out to travelers all over the globe and help them manage their America-bound itineraries. The top five origin countries for travel to the US are China, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Korea, and Venezuela.
To boost optimism and put some muscle behind the message, the US announced a $150 million marketing blitz to launch this month to promote the U.S. to travelers worldwide as a response to the drop in the country’s overall share of world travelers in the decade following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The blitz has Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash belting an anthem called “Land of Dreams” while images of smiling Americans playing on the beach, running through fields of flowers and dancing in streets flash across the screen.
The U.S. Travel Assn. initiated the campaign with the support of several large tourism groups and travel businesses. It was approved by Congress as part of the Travel Promotion Act of 2010 and will be financed in part by a $14 fee charged to each international visitor who registers for a visa to enter the U.S.
The marketing blitz rolls out this month in Canada, Britain and Japan, followed later in Brazil, South Korea, India and Germany.
See and hear the new Brand USA campaign, “Land of Dreams.”