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International Pow Wow: New website to promote the US

A new website, DiscoverAmerica.com, will play a key part in promoting the US to its core international markets.


It will also provide sales leads for operators and agents who register with the site.


The $3.9 million initiative between the Travel Industry Association and the US Department of Commerce launched in the UK at the end of March. Versions in Japanese, Spanish, German and French will follow.


TIA president Roger Dow said it provided a “one-stop shop” for holiday planning.


The site mixes practicalities such as visa requirements and weather with destination content from all 50 states. There is also user generated content, including reviews of restaurants, hotels and attractions. An interactive map provides driving distances between key attractions an activity finder searches 24 categories including shopping, skiing, golf, theme parks and beaches.


Discover America vice president Jay Gray said: “We knew the site needed a call to action it’s all about converting users from lookers into bookers.


Consumers can click through from the activity search to agents and operators selling that product. Agents will manage their own profile and can update contact details, packages and deals as often as they need. Registration will be free until the end of 2008, from when a subscription charge will be introduced. Gray said the fee would depend on the success of the site and the number agents registered.


Roger Dow stressed the new site differed significantly from its predecessor, SeeAmerica.org.


“SeeAmerica.org didn’t have the funds or the amount information behind it as DiscoverAmerica.com. We’ve not had anything like this before,” he added.


 




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