The United States has been and always will be a diverse destination for all tourists. America is different. Movie stars and reality show stars can become president of the country.
US President Trump wants to “make America great again.” Brand USA tells travelers to the United States they are heroes.
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America is great and always has been great in a lot of ways. From a tourism stand point, there are so many destinations within the US.
This is also the opinion of Chris Ellis, Director of Global Trade Development at Brand USA. He wants tourists to explore the United States like a local.
Perhaps like a local cowboy, like a local surfer, like a local businessman in New York – there are so many local experiences in the land of the free.
Brand USA’s new consumer campaign is launching in 11 international markets including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and the UK.
Brand USA also produced 15 versions of a new website in 8 different languages, with each international market having a customized version in its home country language.
The accompanying campaign’s approach puts each person at the center of their trip, allowing them to immerse themselves in their USA experience – to see the variety of destinations that are available in the United States, and the value inherent in the proximity of those points of interest.
Brand USA has expanded it USA experience to include new opportunities. This is the story Brand USA is pitching to future US visitors. They include escapes up to 5 hours away from major gateways, which means pretty much anywhere in the continental US.
Chris doesn’t think the US is becoming isolated after the election. On the contrary. He said: “Whenever a new administration comes in, there is a review of travel policies – this is nothing new. Our goal is to promote the US as a tourism destination; this hasn’t changed.
“Our mandate is also to communicate visa and entry policies. Although attempted by our new administration, nothing legally has changed, with the exception of electronics an airline passenger can bring onboard flying from certain countries.
“Brand USA will be at the Arabian Travel Market, and we will continue to promote our country as required by law. We constantly try to find ways to bring value to the way we promote.
“Like it is at all trade show participations and marketing our country, anything anyone does with us is voluntary. Every destination has had some involvement at different levels. We make sure we aren’t stealing from existing DMOs and are instead adding to it. This all depends a lot on destinations’ resources and leadership. Partners, so far, seem to be responding positively.”
eTN asked if funding for Brand USA was secure. Chris responded: “We never take anything for granted, but when we came into existence in 2010, we had to get reauthorized in 2015. We believe our stakeholders understand and appreciate what we are doing. We are confident that in partnership with our federal government, we are bringing value to the travel sector.”
If a destination want to market with Brand USA, Chris said “all they have to do is raise their hand and say they want cooperative marketing assistance.”
Brand USA is the public-private partnership responsible for launching the United States’ first-ever nationally-coordinated tourism marketing effort. In this role, Chris is responsible for the development and implementation of market strategies to support the retention and creation of international relationships as well as promoting the United States as a premier travel destination by expanding Brand USA’s international representation network. He also develops and executes Brand USA’s strategic objectives, key initiatives, and tactical plans to retain, improve, and expand global opportunities.
Chris joined the Brand USA team in September of 2016. Prior to that, he was a travel industry sales senior manager for Visit Orlando, where he secured cooperative advertising with international tour operators to promote Orlando as a destination as well as maintained excellent relationships with wholesalers, airlines, and industry governmental bodies. Prior to Visit Orlando, Chris worked in international sales with the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. In this role, Chris directed the sales, meetings, and conventions department in developing and implementing programs designed to increase group and pre-purchased ticket sales.
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Chris studied English and Geography at Exmouth Community College in the UK. Chris now resides in Stafford, Virginia, with his wife, Lorraine, and daughter, Madison. His favorite hobby is theater, so much so, that he volunteers at his daughter’s school with theater productions.