Brand USA seeks partners as it expands internationally

WASHINGTON: Brand USA, the public-private partnership responsible for promoting travel to the US, is seeking help from international representation marketing organizations as it expands with offices in Canada, France, and Latin America.

WASHINGTON: Brand USA, the public-private partnership responsible for promoting travel to the US, is seeking help from international representation marketing organizations as it expands with offices in Canada, France, and Latin America.

At the moment, Brand USA has an international network touching various markets, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the UK, Ireland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Greater China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Japan.

The satellites have “international travel representation” organizations helping them by engaging travel agents, tour operators, and travel trades, and working on marketing and experiential efforts to promote travel to the US, said Brand USA CCO Anne Madison.

For example, she said the destination marketing company Gate 7 in Australia handles Brand USA's Australia and New Zealand region, and London-based creative and communications agency Black Diamond, which specializes in travel marketing, works on the UK and Ireland region.

Brand USA has RFPs out for international travel marketing companies in Canada, Latin America, and France, where the organization plans to open offices by the end of this year.

“In addition to sending RFPs directly to firms that we know about, we also post every RFP on our site, and we get a fair amount of submissions from doing that,” said Madison.

The organizations hired in each region are required to reach out to airlines, online travel agents, tour wholesalers, and travel trade publications, as well as developing and promoting media events and collaborating with Brand USA creative agency JWT. Budget information for the contracts was not disclosed.

“We try to set up these international representation offices in advance of launching a consumer campaign in those markets,” explained Madison.

She added that the organization develops integrated consumer campaigns from its Washington headquarters for regions around the world, and that having an office and representation in each area helps Brand USA handle demand efficiently.

Brand USA handles its communications in-house and collaborates with its regional offices.  

This month, the organization is launching a digital campaign in Greater China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In September, campaigns will begin in Australia, Brazil, Japan, and the UK, said Madison. 

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