WASHINGTON: The Department of Commerce (DOC) is preparing to issue an RFP for a $50 million integrated campaign aimed at raising America's profile as a destination for foreign tourists.
A pre-solicitation notice released in November cites a steady decline in the US share of global tourism since 1992, a situation exacerbated by the events of September 11 and the war on terrorism. A DOC spokeswoman said no decision has yet been made regarding when the RFP will be issued.
The DOC circulated a separate RFP to small marketing firms in August, seeking strategies that would attract foreign tourism yet not contradict new US restrictions on travel from certain Muslim countries. However, that request was eventually rescinded, and the spokeswoman said the winner of the current contract will be responsible for both strategy and execution.
According to the notice, the campaign will focus on Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the UK. Because the DOC is not in the business of providing travel to the US, the effort will rely heavily on partnering with private-sector tourism entities.