Brand USA, the nation’s destination marketing organisation, opened IPW 2023 with an immersive press conference showcasing the USA as an unrivalled travel destination, as well as the reveal of the organisation’s latest consumer marketing campaign, provided international travel forecast, and consumer sentiment insights. IPW is the leading trade show for inbound travel to the United States, bringing more than 5,000 industry professionals from more than 60 countries to San Antonio, Texas for the first time. Brand USA is the premier sponsor of the annual event produced by the U.S. Travel Association, and taking place for the first time in San Antonio, Texas.
The press conference featured iconic and lesser-known destinations and attractions, from the best places to taste local cuisine to stepping into the song lyrics or movie locations that first inspired a visit, being pampered in the lap of luxury, or experiencing the USA through the eyes of a sports enthusiast.
“There’s no other destination like the United States,” said Brand USA President and CEO, Chris Thompson to over 200 international journalists. “What sets the USA apart is the diversity of our geography, the diversity of our experiences, the diversity of our people, and our one-of-a-kind pop culture.”
Thompson described how USA pop culture is often the way people around the world first get to know the United States, asking: “How did you first come to know the United States? Were you on the road with Jack Kerouac, walking the line with Johnny Cash, or having breakfast with Audrey Hepburn at Tiffany’s? Regardless, I bet you were left with a dream, an idea, and an intangible excitement, and you knew you just had to experience it all for yourself.”
Thompson, who is bullish on inbound travel to the USA, gave examples of how pent-up demand continues to drive economic recovery in communities throughout the country as more and more people are now booking travel and living out their dreams. During the press conference Thompson highlighted how two recent barriers to travel have been alleviated: that overall airlines expect a near 100 percent return of connectivity by the end of the year, and that effective May 12, international travelers are no longer required to have a COVID-19 vaccination to enter the United States.
The worldwide travel restart has created a highly competitive global market for the lucrative international visitor. To move consumers more quickly from aspiration to action, Brand USA recently launched a marketing campaign across 10 key markets. The campaign showcases how the USA delivers on the consumer promise that whoever you want to be and whatever experience you long for, the United States is where you can find it. Thompson shared two of the latest campaign assets which speak to travelers seeking adventure or family fun.