BrandUSA to consolidate inbound tourism growth

Shekhar Niyogi, SATTE 2012, New Delhi, February 13, 2012
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BRANDUSA, a public private partnership with the mission of promoting increased international travel to the US, will formally start its advertising blitz in spring 2012 after postponing its original ITB Berlin launch date.

Formerly the Corporation for Travel Promotion, the public-private sector marketing body was created in 2010 to work together with the travel trade and position the US as a destination of choice for world travellers.

Rafael Villanueva, director international sales of Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, said: “BrandUSA has representatives of hotels, convention bureaus, attractions, airlines and travel companies on its board, and will be instrumental in pushing for much higher numbers. They will have to rationalise the issuance of visas to Indians and Chinese in order to see real growth from Asia.”

Meanwhile, a Visit USA Committee (VUSACOM) comprising of local trade leaders and US government officials has been formed in India, with the objective of growing Indian tourist footfalls in the US.

Ashwini Kakkar, president of VUSACOM India, said in a statement: “We want to take India from its current 12th position to a single digit position in (terms of) tourist arrivals (to the) US very soon”.

Eric Otto, president & CEO of Scottsdale, Arizona-based Connect-Worlwide, said: “Five years back, Indian outbound to the US was ranked 30th in arrivals and now Indian outbound ranks 12th. Our projections are that India will rank fifth in outbound to the US by 2016.”