Since the budget decline of marketing firms such as Visit Florida, Brand USA is becoming one of the stronger more essential instruments for U.S destination promotions. However, this year the stability of Brand USA might be just as questionable as the other destination marketing organizations (DMO).
Speaking at the IPW annual conference – the U.S Travel Association’s leading international inbound travel trade show – the association’s Chief Executive Officer, Roger Dow, restated that this year’s reauthorization of Brand USA is “critical”. He was also very clear when questioned about Visit Florida losing a third of its budget. “I think it’s a huge mistake,” stated Dow. “I know what will happen. Next year, they’ll say, ‘See, it didn’t make any difference.’ It will take two or three years. We’ve seen it all over the country: in Pennsylvania, the state of Washington, [and] Colorado. They cut the budget, and a few years later tourism drops.”
Admiration for Brand USA
U.S Travel has made lobbying for Brand USA a primary concern, seeing as the Travel Promotion Act restricts Brand USA from lobbying for itself. There is also a wide array of praise for Brand USA, with supporters saying that they wouldn’t have the reach they do in major profitable markets if it wasn’t for Brand USA. Pure Michigan Vice President, David Lorenz, said that China became the destination marketing organization’s best market abroad after three years of focusing on that market. Pure Michigan has a website completely in the Chinese language that was launched with Brand USA.
“Brand USA gives us reach around the world,” said Lorenz. “A state like Michigan could never afford to be in Australia, Korea, [or] China. We could never do consumer marketing there. How do you afford that? You can’t, unless you work with the massive promotional marketing engine known as Brand USA.”