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July 27, 2006

First-Ever U.S. Department of Commerce U.S. Tourism Promotion Campaign Brings More Than 360,000 Additional British Travelers to the U.S.

These UK Travelers Spent $481 Million in the U.S.,
Yielded $79.9 Million in Federal and Local Taxes

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced the final results of its first-ever U.S. Tourism Promotion Campaign, conducted in the UK from late December 2004 – early March 2005. 

The campaign successfully achieved the four goals of increasing awareness of the United States as a travel destination, developing a positive perception of the United States as a travel destination, influencing the intent of British travelers to visit the United States and increasing economic benefits from visitation.

“The strong results of the campaign demonstrate that a relatively small marketing budget can achieve impressive results which have a positive economic impact,” said Ana Guevara, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Services, U.S. Department of Commerce.  “The U.S. Department of Commerce is pleased with the Year One results and continues to work closely with the travel and tourism industry as we launched the campaign in Japan this month.”

Initial research concluded that, as a result of the campaign, the demand for travel to the United States was increased by a potential 1.9 million person trips within the 24 months following the campaign.  A post-campaign Conversion Study released today and conducted by Longwoods International - an independent firm specializing in tourism and advertising research - indicated that in the 12 months following the campaign, 362,500 UK travelers visited the U.S. as a direct result of seeing the advertising.  This is a dramatic 18% conversion rate among those people intending a trip from March 2005 onwards.

While traveling in the U.S., the 362,500 UK visitors spent $481 million that yielded $79.9 million in federal and local taxes – these expenditures would not have been made without the campaign.  In relation to the advertising spend, every $1 spent on advertising yielded $117 in additional visitor spending. 

In addition to the economic impact of the campaign, it also had a positive impact on perception of the United States as a travel destination.  Through Longwoods International research it was determined that the advertising increased spontaneous mention of the United States among long-haul destinations as a place UK consumers want to visit by ten percentage points among those who saw the ads versus those who did not. 

About the Campaign
Pre-campaign research identified a strong affinity to popular American culture and entertainment.  Working with various movie studios and a marketing team that included Edelman and M&C Saatchi, the U.S. Department of Commerce developed the campaign, “You’ve Seen the Films, Now Visit the Set™,” which featured popular American movies with place name titles, such as “Chicago,” “L.A. Story,” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”

The campaign, which ran from mid-December 2004 through mid-March 2005, utilized television advertisements, large format posters in both London Underground stations and on street-level billboards and public relations tactics to get the campaign’s message to British consumers.

The advertisements directed potential travelers to a consumer Web site developed in cooperation with the Travel Industry Association of America, and to a telephone link that offered consumers a U.S. Travel Planner, developed in cooperation with the Visit USA Association UK. 

Now in its second year, the campaign has expanded to include both the UK and Japan markets.  The integrated campaign in Japan, which features television, underground and cinema advertising, along with promotions in entertainment giant TSUTAYA and renowned department store MITSUKOSHI, launched on June 26, 2006.

For more information about the U.S. International Tourism Promotion Campaign, visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/about/us_promo_campaign/index.html.

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
14th & Constitution Avenue NW, Room 1003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone:(202) 482-0140
Fax: (202) 482-2887
Email: Otti@trade.gov

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