Brand USA sees results, dives deeper into Asian market

BRAND USA will intensify its focus on emerging South-east Asian markets like Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand following its success in growing the brand in this region.

The US welcomed 9.6 million Asians last year, up six per cent from 2013.

The main markets, in both size and growth, were China, India, Japan and South Korea. But markets such as Vietnam, though still small, are conspicuous by their stellar rises. There were 86,000 travellers to the US last year, a 34 per cent year-on-year increase. In particular, the number of Vietnamese travellers to New York shot up by 113 per cent to 32,000 last year, from 15,000 in 2013.

Makiko Matsuda Healy, senior vice president, global tourism development of NYC & Co, said: “One of the reasons could be that the economy in these emerging South-east Asia markets is stabilising and there is a rising middle class population.”

Tom Garzilli, senior vice president-global sponsorships for Brand USA, said in addition to Brand USA’s current promotional efforts and educational seminars launched in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, it would be “following the emerging economies closely”.

Plans are also underway to extend the USA Discovery programme to these countries, but no definite timeline was given.

Additionally, Brand USA will soon launch an online education and certification programme for the trade in Southeast Asia, said Garzilli.

The growing Asian market is also whetting the appetite of more US exhibitors to learn more about the market. Garzilli said new US exhibitors at ITB Asia this year include the Philadelphia Convention & Visitor Bureau and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.

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