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October 11, 2005

Contact: Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
E-mail: otti@trade.gov
Web: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov
Phone: (202) 482-0140, Fax: (202) 482-2887

First-Ever U.S. Department of Commerce International Tourism Promotion Campaign Successfully Influenced British Travelers to Visit the United States

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced the preliminary results of its first-ever international tourism promotion campaign. The campaign successfully achieved the three goals of increasing awareness of the United States as a travel destination, developing a positive perception of the United States as a travel destination, and influencing the intent of British travelers to visit the United States.

"The strong results of the campaign present an opportunity for the travel and tourism industry to capitalize on these successes and close the sale with British consumers," said Douglas B. Baker, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Services, U.S. Department of Commerce. "The U.S. Department of Commerce will continue working closely with the private sector as we launch year two of this campaign in the United Kingdom, and initiate similar efforts in Japan."

Research from Longwood’s International - research specialist - indicated that 54 percent of the people within the identified advertising market were aware of the campaign, having seen at least one advertisement.

The campaign was effective in increasing positive perceptions of the United States as a travel destination. The advertising increased spontaneous mention of the United States among long-haul destinations as a place they want to visit by ten percentage points among those who saw the ads versus those who did not.

The campaign was effective in increasing intent to visit the United States on a pleasure trip by 16 percentage points among those who were aware of the ads versus those who were not.

The research also concluded that, as a result of the campaign, the demand for travel to the United States was increased by approximately 1.9 million person trips within the next 24 months.

James A. Rasulo, chairman of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board and president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said the program could have a positive impact on the economy.

"There are millions of people employed by the travel and tourism industry in the United States today," said Rasulo. "Government support of the industry's role in generating goodwill and cultural understanding, as well as driving job creation and tax revenue, is fundamental to the economic development of the United States."

Pre-campaign research identified a strong affinity to popular American culture and entertainment. Working with various movie studios and a marketing team that included Edelman and M&C Saatchi, the U.S. Department of Commerce developed the campaign, "You’ve Seen the Films, Now Visit the Set," which featured popular American movies with place name titles, such as "Chicago," "L.A. Story," and "Sweet Home Alabama."

The campaign, which ran from mid-December 2004 through mid-March 2005, utilized television advertisements, large format posters in both London Underground stations and on street-level billboards and public relations tactics to get the campaign’s message to British consumers.

The advertisements directed potential travelers to a consumer Web site developed in cooperation with the Travel Industry Association of America, and to a telephone link that offered consumers a U.S. Travel Planner, developed in cooperation with the Visit USA Association UK.

For more information about the U.S. International Tourism Promotion Campaign, visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/about/us_promo_campaign/index.html

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Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 1003
Washington, D.C. 20230

E-mail: otti@trade.gov
Phone: (202) 482-0140, Fax: (202) 482-2887

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