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HomeNewsInternationalIndia Emerged As 4th Largest Overseas Market For USA

India Emerged As 4th Largest Overseas Market For USA

Brand USA has identified 5 storytelling pillars to draw international travelers

Brand USA recently organised its first sales mission in India after a gap of more than three years due to the pandemic. The mission, led by Jackie Ennis, Vice President, Global Travel Trade, Brand USA comprised of a delegation of 25 exhibitors who visited Mumbai and Delhi last month. Brand USA also premiered its third big-screen film Into Nature’s Wild during the mission.

“India is a very important market. In 2022, India was the 4th largest overseas source market (excluding Canada and Mexico) with about 1.25 million visitors, reflecting just 15% decline over 2019 figures. India market bounced back well,” Ennis said and informed that the average spend of Indian tourists in the US is very high. So, India is a very important target market for us, she said.

in 2019, Indians spent US$ 16.5 billion. “We had only 433,000 arrivals from India. But the spend was US$ 8.2 billion. So, even though the numbers were low, spend actually went up per capita,” she added.

Replying to a question over digital transformation roadmap for Brand USA, Ennis said: “During COVID, we launched our virtual platform, global marketplace, to maintain the contacts between the global travel trade industry and our US partners. Over the course of 2 years, we did market updates. We kept everyone informed about the landscape and shifts in different key markets. We also facilitated one-on-one business meetings between the markets, the key leaders in those markets and the US partners. We are still doing that to a certain extent. The ability to have virtual meetings, webinars and market updates has still has a place in our plans and activities. However, we are focusing on face-to-face opportunities,” she said.

During the pandemic, Brand USA India continued to engage with the travel trade. In 2020 and 2021, Brand USA India actively engaged with travel trade through 18 webinars. Over the past 3 years, it conducted over 100+ targeted individual e-trainings for small, mid-sized and large agencies. In 2022, Brand USA India hosted 3 physical trade engagements in Ahmedabad, Delhi and Bengaluru. It also hosted a joint fam with Turkish Airlines to Texas with 6 major agents to create destination awareness.

Brand USA has identified 5 storytelling pillars to draw international travelers. These are: the great outdoors, sports tourism, luxury, culinary journeys and as seen on screen.  “We want to work closely with Indian agents to promote unique experiences of the US. After the pandemic, people want to explore open spaces – so, promoting our outdoor activities is one of our focus areas. Sports tourism has also a lot of potential considering the popularity of sporting events, like the NBA league in India,” she added.

On the issue of visa, she said: “We received some great news from both the Mumbai Consul General and the Delhi Consul General. Approximately, 3 million Indians with valid 10-year visas can travel to the US, making them an important segment. Although the situation in India is not ideal, we heard that the US government has acknowledged the severity of the situation and is taking steps to address it,” she informed.

She informed that the tourism industry in the United States is incredibly strong. “Through the pandemic, we didn’t have international visitors coming but domestic visitation all across the country was very strong. People really recognize the importance of tourism. We have a fairly new US Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo. She used to be the Tourism Director for Rhode Island, and so having someone in that position is really important that recognizes the value of tourism,” she said.






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