Tourism

Brand USA and the importance of the World Travel Market

Brand USA and the importance of the World Travel Market

Brand USA chief executive, Chris Thompson, said: “WTM is a major part of the travel trade. I have been in the industry for 30 years and know how important WTM is.

“The WTM events attract quality buyers, trade, media – and you can have face-to-face time with people, and nurture relationships.”

He described the WTM Portfolio’s events as “iconic shows”.

“Latin America is important – it’s in Sao Paulo and Brazil is a huge market for us, and to have a WTM-calibre show there is awesome. Arabian Travel Market is a great opportunity too,” he commented.

“The US pavilion has a large delegation and we have lots of meetings, we host clients and network.”

Brand USA anticipates a record year for visitors in 2014 with growth rates between 5% and 7%.

Exhibiting with the WTM Portfolio will help Brand USA cover its key markets.

Canada and Mexico are the top two markets, representing almost 40 million visitors, with the UK in third place and Japan fourth, at around 4 million visitors each.

The growing powerhouse of China is increasingly important too, with numbers expected to rise from about 1.8 million annually, thanks to extensions to the validity of Chinese visa.

Numbers from China could rise to seven million by 2021.

Thompson said the WTM event in London is always key as the UK is Brand USA’s top long-haul market.

This World Travel Market will see the premiere of a major giant-screen film about US national parks, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the National Parks system in 2016.

Other themes to be promoted by Brand USA include its culinary initiative and the “great outdoors”.
Thompson added: “The show also enhances partnerships – even with the phone and enhanced technology today, you still need face-to-face.

“Anecdotally, I have not spoken to a single partner who is not optimistic about the year ahead, they are all bullish about interest and bookings. With all these WTM events, I am extraordinarily excited about 2015.”

World Travel Market Portfolio Director, Craig Moyes, said: “We are delighted Brand USA is exhibiting across the WTM Portfolio. The Portfolio facilitated $7 billion in travel business deals in 2014 and Brand USA involvement at World Travel Market, Arabian Travel Market and WTM Latin America can play a key role in helping it reach its objective of 100 million annual tourists by 2021.”

The WTM Portfolio 2015 schedule of events is;

WTM Africa, Cape Town, 15-17 April

WTM Latin America, Sao Paulo, 22-24 April

Arabian Travel Market, Dubai, 4-7 May

World Travel Market, London, 2-5 November

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Ihesiulo Grace

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