american invasionAustralia certainly seems to be the flavour of the month when it comes to US-based tourism marketers, with more than 55 American suppliers and tourist offices heading down under last month for the annual Visit USA Expos. The events took place in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and saw the visitors join with locally based operators to present their wares to hundreds of travel agents.

The organisers added a twist this year by inviting attendees to dress up as their best USA themed character. Those who brought out their inner Elvis, Captain America, Wonder Woman or Marilyn were in the running to win a spot on the 2016 Brand USA Mega Fam, with this huge trip later this year exploring America courtesy of Air New Zealand, which now flies via Auckland to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston.

Exhibitors included long-time favourites such as New York’s Beacon Hotel, Rocky Mountaineer, Handlery Hotels and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, along with tourism boards from destinations further afield such as Philadelphia, Florida, Utah, Oregon, New England, Texas, Anchorage and even American Samoa.

During the sessions formal educational presentations were complemented by a freeflowing “marketplace” format. This year’s Visit USA Australia Week also included a one-day “International Media Marketplace” in Sydney where the participating exhibitors were able to showcase their destinations and products to local journalists.

Visit USA Australia president Janette Davie said she was thrilled at the strong contingent crossing the Pacific to take part. “We are delighted that so many USA experts came to meet and educate our local sellers. Agents found out what’s new and updated their destination knowledge, and we hope they now feel empowered to confidently promote and sell the USA to to their clientele”.

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