U.S. Travel Industry Group Goes Global to Attract Tourists

By Marco, Donna De | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 20, 1999 | Go to article overview

U.S. Travel Industry Group Goes Global to Attract Tourists


Marco, Donna De, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) is taking on a big task.

The nonprofit travel group based in the District plans to promote the United States as the premier travel destination in the world with new international marketing programs.

TIA will spend $2.6 million to $3.8 million in the first year of the effort.

According to TIA officials, the United States is the only industrialized nation without a national tourism office. The U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration, the federal agency last responsible for such efforts, closed in 1996.

The United States has lost market share rapidly over the last five years as international tourism has grown. Historically the United States has been the No. 2 destination for international travelers behind France. Last year, Spain took the No. 2 spot.

Beginning in early 2000, TIA will begin promoting travel campaigns abroad, sponsoring "Visit USA" educational seminars and organizing cooperative advertising campaigns.

Initially TIA will open overseas offices in England, Japan and Brazil and eventually will have as many as six offices abroad. TIA will add 10 to 17 more employees to its 51-person staff.

"This is the most significant one-time increase in program activity in the 58-year history of TIA," said Christopher D. Bowers, TIA's national chairman in a statement. "It demonstrates that we are taking very seriously that part of TIA's mission that mandates us to promote and facilitate increased travel to the Untied States."

TIA will also establish an international travel research office to increase its international research for its members. TIA will also actively lobby to increase the number of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, a federal program allowing travelers from 30 countries to enter the United States without visas.

THE SPIN ON HOCKEY

The Washington Capitals hired Boston-based Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos to create a brand-building advertising and promotions campaign worth about $1.5 million. Hill, Holliday will be responsible for creating advertising, placing media and overseeing grass-roots promotions both inside and outside the arena.

"The goal is to put a different kind of brand attitude on the Capitals," said Ted Gilvar, senior vice president of Hill, Holliday. "The Capitals aren't as embraced as much as other teams in other markets."

The goal is to drum up excitement that has been lacking.

The campaign, which is using the tag line "always intense," broke last week with newspaper teaser ads. …

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