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It’s difficult to measure the campaign’s impact in comparison to other unrelated global trends affecting travel worldwide. And even more difficult to trust such rosy numbers by a report commissioned by the campaign itself.
The nation’s first coordinated campaign to promote the United States to international travelers generated $3.4 billion in additional spending last year, according to a study commissioned by the campaign.
Brand USA, the campaign financed by fees charged to international visitors and donations, launched in 2012 with billboards, newspaper and magazine ads, radio spots and an anthem by singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash.
The campaign targeted tourists from Brazil, Japan, Australia, Germany, Britain, Mexico, Canada and South Korea. It was funded by donations and a $14 fee charged to each international visitor who registered for a visa to enter the United States.
The campaign spent about $72 million to market to the eight key countries for the year ending in September 2013. According to a study by the research firm Oxford Economics, the campaign helped generate 1.1 million visitors, 2.3 percent more than were expected without the campaign. Those visitors spent about $3.4 billion in the last fiscal year, the study concluded.
The campaign is expected to expand to more countries, said Christopher Thompson, president and chief executive of Brand USA.
“Now we have a good foundation to build upon,” he said.
(c)2014 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by MCT Information Services.