Study: Brand USA Marketing Drove Record International Visitor Spending

Global Business Travel Market

WASHINGTON—A new report by Oxford Economics shows that the marketing efforts of Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, are generating a high return on investment (ROI) and driving incremental international visitation and spend. The report shows Brand USA drove record results in the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018) for incremental international visitor spending, tax revenues generated, and total economic impact.

Highlights of the study show Brand USA’s marketing efforts in FY2018 alone (October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018) helped drive 1.13 million incremental international visitors to the United States who spent $4.1 billion on travel and fare receipts with U.S. carriers and generated $1.17 billion in federal, state, and local taxes—resulting in a total economic impact of $8.9 billion and supporting 52,305 incremental U.S. jobs. The resulting FY2018 marketing ROI was 32:1, according to the report—for every $1 Brand USA spent on marketing generated $32 in spending by international visitors.

The study also shows that the cumulative results of Brand USA’s marketing efforts over the past six years (FY2013 through FY018) has helped bring 6.6 million incremental visitors who spend $21.8 billion on travel and fare receipts with U.S. carriers and generated $6.2 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. The total economic impact was $47.7 billion, which has supported, on average, nearly 52,000 incremental U.S. jobs each year. The six-year results equate to an average marketing ROI of 28:1.

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“International visitation is an important driver for the nation’s economy—benefiting a wide range of industries well beyond travel and tourism,” said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, international travel to the United States is the nation’s top services export and represents 11 percent of all U.S. exports, contributing a $77.4 billion trade surplus.

“The FY2018 ROI study reinforces the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns and how our efforts are supporting communities and employment throughout the country. The United States provides international travelers more value in its diversity of experiences than any other place in the world, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners to market the USA as the ultimate travel destination,” added Thompson.

Each year, Brand USA deploys a number of market-driven platforms and programs as part of its mission to increase incremental international visitation, spend, and market share for the United States to fuel the U.S. economy and enhance the image of the country with worldwide travelers.

Brand USA also collaborates with federal partners to communicate U.S. visa and entry policies and correct misperceptions about those policies as required by the Travel Promotion Act.

The Oxford Economics study includes an analysis of Brand USA’s work in nine markets—Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and the United Kingdom—and also considers the organization’s total impact in other international markets where Brand USA’s marketing was active during the year via consumer, trade outreach, and cooperative marketing programs.