NTA Calls for Support of Brand USA During CEO Transition
By David Cogswell
June 24, 2012 9:34 PM
NTA, formerly known as the National Tour Association, issued a call for support of Brand USA, the U.S. government public/private tourism marketing agency, as it navigates a transition in the wake of the resignation of its chief executive officer, Jim Evans, after one year on the job. The public-private organization was created by Congress in 2010 after the United States’ share of international arrivals declined 37 percent during the preceding decade.
“Brand USA is working to bring international travelers back to the United States, and it’s critical for all of us in the travel and tourism industry to support the organization,” said NTA’s President Lisa Simon. “NTA is grateful to Jim Evans for his leadership, and we look forward to continued progress.” Simon said she has reached out to Caroline Beteta, Brand USA’s chairman-elect, to offer NTA’s continued support. Beteta will serve Brand USA as interim CEO.
Last month, Brand USA launched the nation’s first unified marketing campaign, promoting the United States as a premier travel destination in three top-tier markets -- Japan, Canada and the U.K. The campaign includes images and information about the country’s tourism product and entry procedures. Other accomplishments during its first year of operation include developing a strong brand identity; creating an informative and promotional website; and establishing partnerships with more than 250 industry organizations, which will raise more than $10 million in industry contributions and more than $30 million in in-kind contributions.
“Destinations, suppliers and tour operators across the country will benefit from this fresh marketing campaign, but there’s no free lunch,” said Simon. “Brand USA needs to raise cash and in-kind investments to unlock federal funds set aside for its operation. I call on my industry colleagues to find ways to help.”
Simon cited two examples of NTA’s support for Brand USA. The association is collaborating with Brand USA to present the Discover America Pavilion at the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai this November. Revenue from the event will allow Brand USA to obtain matching dollars generated by international tourists’ fees. And in May, NTA gave Brand USA an opportunity to speak to industry professionals at the Grassroots Congressional Travel Summit, sponsored by NTA with the Southeast Tourism Society and Destination Marketing Association International.
“One thing we can all do is advocate for Brand USA and help maintain the momentum,” said Simon. “Make sure your federal legislators know how marketing this country abroad leads to more jobs and prosperity here at home.”
NTA is a business association for travel professionals interested in the North American market -- inbound, outbound and within the continent, with members that are tour operators and destination marketing organizations from more than 40 countries.