Brand USA issues trade pledge for transatlantic travel restart

Brand USA has pledged to increase its focus on driving business to trade partners including tour operators and travel agents as soon as transatlantic travel reopens.

Speaking in London, chief marketing officer Tom Garzilli said the organisation had successfully maintained its trade support during the pandemic with the introduction of virtual tools including the Brand USA Global Marketplace.

It also increased its focus on webinars and trained “thousands” of travel agents during the shutdown, Garzilli added.

Interview: Brand USA chief marketing officer Tom Garzilli

While admitting he could not predict when US borders would reopen due to the emergence of the Delta variant, he said he was confident increasing vaccination rates would prompt an easing of restrictions and the release of “significant pent-up demand” heading into 2022.

He also said the country’s consumer and trade strategies would include a “robust” return to the UK as customers look to book longer-length and more complex itineraries after having plans put on-hold.

“Much as we look at other countries, we are going to follow the airline seats and the transatlantic routes are going to open up strongly,” he said.

“The UK will be among the first for consumer spend and it is already the first for trade.”

He added: “From an international perspective, the tour operator and travel agent is far more important than it is in the US and we will be looking to do far more with our trade partners (as we reopen).

“We will be working much harder to ensure our multi-channel advertising has a localised call to action and we believe that many of the things we are doing with the Global Marketplace will free up budget for (US) partners to invest in their trade partnerships.”

“Everything we do ultimately drives business to the trade” he said. “They are the tip of the spear, we have stayed connected with them and once we are ready to go we will do even more in partnership with them.”

  • Brand USA is running a series of webinars and quizzes for agents with a focus on different parts of the US. They take place on September 29 (Idaho and Montana); October 6 (Dallas and Fort Worth); and October 20 (Los Angeles and West Hollywood).

InterviewBrand USA chief marketing officer Tom Garzilli

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