Fresh from backing Britain as a key London 2012 sponsor, British Airways is now supporting efforts to encourage tourism to the US.

The airline has become the first founding airline partner in the UK for new tourism marketing body Brand USA.

BA will work jointly on initiatives to promote the US as a “premier travel destination,” including industry and travel agent activity, plus advertising campaigns in UK trade and consumer press.

It will be the airline partner for an inaugural Brand USA megafam trip for UK-based travel agents. The trip will incorporate multiple destinations across the US, designed to showcase the diverse travel opportunities as well as BA service to agents.

BA will receive exclusive airline recognition, such as priority on new initiatives, promotions and major marketing co-operative campaigns as well as inclusion at Brand USA functions at major industry events.

Brand USA was established by the Travel Promotion Act in 2010 to spearhead the nation’s first global marketing effort to promote the US as a premier travel destination.

Business development vice president Jay Gray said: “Working with the UK’s national carrier ensures the gravitas and long-term commitment that we dedicate to the UK market, the largest overseas visitor market to America.”

BA head of UK and Ireland sales Richard Tams added:  “We are delighted to be the first airline partner to Brand USA. With over 66 years of flying customers and holidaymakers into the USA, this is an extremely important market to us and one we look forward to continuing to grow and promote.”