Brand USA – the nation’s destination-marketing organization – generated more than 2 million incremental visitors to the U.S. from around the globe over the past two years, according to a new study by Oxford Economics. Those visitors accounted for $6.5 billion in incremental spending, which injected nearly $15 billion into the American economy. The influx of incremental visitors also supported an average of 50,000 incremental jobs each of the two years.
Brand USA was created through the 2010 Tourism Promotion Act as a public-private enterprise to coordinate international marketing efforts in order to increase tourism to the U.S. and enhance America’s image as a premier travel destination. It began operations in May 2011. Today, Brand USA is working with a network of nearly 500 private-sector partners.
“As a result of welcoming more international visitors to the United States, the U.S. economy grows, jobs are created and more importantly, there is a more favorable image of the United States around the world,“ said Christopher L. Thompson, President and CEO of Brand USA.
Oxford Economics, an international economic forecaster based in Oxford, England, looked at nine global markets for the ROI study: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. Brand USA is fully deployed in each of those markets – implementing campaigns for consumer, travel-trade and cooperative marketing.
“Brand USA marketing initiatives had the strongest results, according to the study, in Asian-Pacific and South American markets, where the ROI was 48:1. Travelers from those markets account for “a considerable number of international visitors to places beyond the major gateway destinations in the United States,” Thompson said.
Oxford further documented that Brand USA marketing brought 903,400 incremental visitors to the United States during fiscal 2014. Those travelers spent $3.1 billion on travel with U.S. carriers, producing $7.1 billion total sales. Overall, during fiscal 2014, the United States welcomed 75 million international visitors. This translated into a $222-billion boost for the U.S. economy.
Half of Brand USA funding comes from the private sector. The other, matching half comes from the $10 fee charged to visitors who are from countries that do not require visas for travel to the U.S.