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BW Businessworld

Now, Brand USA Wants Indian Travellers

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“Come and find your land of dreams” blared in the background as we congregated at Le Meridien on a sunny afternoon. Brand USA, the two-year-old tourism marketing entity, was promoting US as a tourism destination for travel enthusiasts . A delegation of 50 participants were visiting New Delhi on 14 September’ 2012 representing 35 destinations in USA.  Tour operators, travel agents, airlines, hotel chains etc were all part of this sixth travel trade mission. Deals were to be signed to fetch basic funds and that was to be matched by contributions from the US government.
 
“India is an important market for the US. With President Obama recognising tourism as an important sector, in the coming months we plan to open our offices in several locations,” said Jay Gray, VP, partnership development, Brand USA. He also added that “the requirement of an entity to promote US tourism originated due to the fact that the market share of the US was stagnant, even when international tourism was growing internationally". The Indian market is growing 12 per cent each year compared to other international markets which are expanding 1-2 per cent annually. This makes the Indian market very important for the US.  Brand US also plans to increase investment, ranging from $1.5 million  to $3 million, per market (depending on the nature of market).
 
“We are here to educate Indian travellers about the main highlights of the USA as a whole and then promote Madame Tussauds, New York as a self destination.” Says Yaniv Didi, trade sales manager, Madame Tussauds New York.
 
Brand USA invested approximately $12.3 million and was initiated across Canada, Japan and UK for three months. It was established by the Travel Promotion Act in 2010 to communicate US entry/exit policies and procedures. Formed as the Corporation for Travel Promotion, the public-private entity began operations in May 2011. Through its call-to-action—DiscoverAmerica.com—Brand USA plans to implement more campaigns in China and Brazil, apart from India.
 
Brand USA is aiming to attract approx. 13 lakh travellers from India by 2016 and further extend it to 1.5-2 crore by the end of 2020.