A well-attended travel trade workshop, a lunch reception at Chapter One, an evening ‘Stars & Stripes’ reception in the Radisson Blu, a greyhound race night out, and the Tour America show at the Red Cow Hotel kept a delegation of over a dozen representatives from Visit USA busy in Dublin this weekend!
“We really appreciate every passenger you send us,” was the delegation’s message to the Irish travel industry from Sue Broomfield of Visit Florida, who hosted the lunch at Chapter One. In the evening, Ciaran Carraher, Chairman of the Visit USA Committee in Ireland, emphasised the new emphasis being placed by the US Government on promoting the new ‘Brand USA’.
A new Corporation for Travel Promotion is a public-private partnership created by the US Congress with a potential $200 million budget. Visitors to the USA are projected to increase 7% to 64 million this year, according to the US Department of Commerce. However, the USA has been losing share of the international travel market as global travel has boomed. The CTP has said: “Our failure to simply keep pace with this growth has cost the US an estimated 68 million ‘lost’ arrivals, $509 billion in total spending, $32 billion in direct tax receipts, and 441,000 travel-related jobs that could have been created or sustained in the years over the past decade.”
“For 2012 we are projecting a 5% increase in global visitation and a 2% growth in Irish visitors,” said Ciaran, “as we are now over the worst in Ireland and as a country have begun to address our problems. The pre-clearance for US Immigration at Shannon and Dublin Airports is a distinct advantage – and thank you for your patience in the early days of its provision at Dublin’s T2,” he added.
Terry Smith of Virgin Atlantic sponsored a prize of two tickets ex-London to continental USA, which was won by Wendy McCartney of American Holidays, while Derek MacKenzie-Hook of Kansas and Oklahoma’s prize of two tickets to see ‘Wizard of Oz’ was won by Rachel McAnaspie, also of American Holidays!