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U.S. travel campaign vies for attention of foreign visitors, creates jobs

April 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
An international advertising campaign will get underway May 1 to attract more foreign tourists to the United States. It's the first time the U.S. has campaigned actively for the attention of foreign visitors.

Tourists continue to flock to Los Angeles, which is good news for the city.

"Last year we actually broke records on tourism," said Don Skeoch with L.A. Tourism. "We are the third largest market in the United States behind Orlando."

Last year alone, tourism generated $15 billion for the city of L.A. Money from tourism does not have to be shared with the state. That makes tourism one of largest industries for L.A.

But the country as a whole has been losing out on appealing to new visitors.

"We're competing with countries like Mexico, spending $187 million a year drawing the world to their country," said Chris Perkins of Brand USA. "So it's time for us to step in and reclaim our share."

Starting May 1, that hopefully will change when ads promoting travel to the country hit airwaves, billboards and social media sites in the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada.

The first three months of advertising have a $12.3 million budget and a second wave of ads will follow in Brazil, South Korea and even China.

"There are more people now in China the people that can afford to come to the United States is more than the population of the United States," said Keoch.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, the average overseas visitor to the U.S. spends $4,000. That money helps create jobs.

"For every 35 incremental visitors, it turns into a job," said Perkins.

While the campaign will promote the us as a whole, the la toruism marketing chief couldn't be happier about the campaign that will target markets la will particularily be attractive to.

"Tourism as an industry is very important to us because the dollars stay in the market," said Skeoch.


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