President Obama announced in late-January the creation of a national travel and tourism strategy aimed at growing the U.S. economy through increased international travel to the United States. The announcement strengthens America’s competitiveness in the growing global travel marketplace by improving travel facilitation for international visitors and improving visa processing times in important growth markets including China and Brazil. Among the steps the President proposed in an executive order is the formation of a government task force to work with Brand USA to promote travel and tourism opportunities in the U.S. to create jobs. The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the 28 other federal and non-governmental organizations in Partners in Tourism took the first step in a strategic collaboration with Brand USA on the day of the announcement.
Representatives of Brand USA outlined their strategy for marketing the U.S. to international visitors during a meeting with Partners. One of the key outcomes of this meeting is the shared recognition that Brand USA’s four experience pillars—Great Outdoors, Urban Excitement, Indulgence and Culture—encompass Partner constituents and the cultural heritage tourism sector. This reinforced how vital cultural and heritage destinations and products are to the international visitor’s experience of the United States. Partners will initiate its collaboration with Brand USA with its Cultural Heritage Tourism Exchange in May. This will bring together cultural and heritage tourism representatives and leaders from across the country to strengthen cooperation and develop strategies that tap into the booming the global travel industry, which supported 7.4 million direct travel jobs; generated $188.4 billion in wages; and directly contributed $118 billion in tax revenue to government at all levels.