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Tourism Promotion Campaign Successful

October 10, 2005

Tourism Promotion Campaign Successful
October 10, 2005 – The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the preliminary results of its first-ever international tourism promotion campaign. The campaign successfully achieved the three goals of increasing awareness of the United States as a travel destination, developing a positive perception of the U.S. as a travel destination, and influencing the intent of British travelers to visit the U.S.

"The strong results of the campaign present an opportunity for the travel and tourism industry to capitalize on these successes and close the sale with British consumers," said Douglas B. Baker, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Services, U.S. Department of Commerce. "The U.S. Department of Commerce will continue working closely with the private sector as we launch year two of this campaign in the United Kingdom, and initiate similar efforts in Japan."

According to the release, research from Longwood`s International research specialist indicated that 54 percent of the people within the identified advertising market were aware of the campaign, having seen at least one advertisement. The campaign was effective in increasing positive perceptions of the U.S. as a travel destination. The advertising increased spontaneous mention of the U.S. among long-haul destinations as a place they want to visit by 10 percentage points among those who saw the ads versus those who did not.

The campaign also was effective in increasing intent to visit the U.S. on a pleasure trip by 16 percentage points among those who were aware of the ads versus those who were not. The research also concluded that, as a result of the campaign, the demand for travel to the United States was increased by approximately 1.9 million person trips within the next 24 months.

James A. Rasulo, chairman of the U.S. Department of Commerce`s Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board and president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said the program could have a positive impact on the economy. "There are millions of people employed by the travel and tourism industry in the United States today," said Rasulo. "Government support of the industry`s role in generating goodwill and cultural understanding, as well as driving job creation and tax revenue, is fundamental to the economic development of the United States."

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

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