Brand USA, in partnership with the Miami International Airport and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, unveiled a new program to help welcome and guide international travelers through the arrivals process, as well as inspire them to fully experience the region of the USA they are visiting. Officials formally launched the campaign during National Travel and Tourism Week on Thursday, May 5 at Miami International Airport’s Concourse D and J federal inspection service areas.
The Market the Welcome program, which was launched by Brand USA in 2014, is designed specifically for gateway airports, offering customized display graphics and templates with welcoming messaging, impactful photography and more – all of which is customized to feature local attractions, history, cuisine, and personality. It features high-impact signage and digital displays and focuses specifically on the environment inside the federal inspection service areas and international baggage claim prior to clearing customs.
“Brand USA and our partners can provide the most inspirational and compelling storytelling about our country around the world,” said Christopher Thompson, Brand USA president & CEO. “That story begins the moment international travelers arrive in the United States where we have the opportunity to extend the spirit of hospitality to and thank our guests for choosing the USA for their travel experience. The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and Miami International Airport are leaders in recognizing this critical need and will provide a model as we roll out the program around the country.”
Miami International Airport is the first airport in the nation to implement the program as an integral part of Brand USA’s new branding and marketing strategies. The program also dovetails with the U.S. national goal and airport-specific action plans developed by the Departments of Homeland Security and Commerce in response to President Obama’s Presidential Memorandum of May 2014. The national goal calls for the United States to “provide a best-in-class arrival experience, as compared to our global competitors, to an ever-increasing number of international visitors while maintaining the highest standards of national security.”
“MIA is proud to have been chosen by Brand USA as the launch airport for its new Market the Welcome campaign,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “As the second-busiest US gateway for international travelers, millions of visitors to Miami-Dade County and to our country will now receive the warm welcome that this new campaign delivers.”
“With more than 96% of overnight visitors to Greater Miami arriving by air, it is vital to the continued success of Miami’s #1 Travel and Tourism Industry to provide an entry process that is welcoming and efficient,” says Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau President & CEO William D. Talbert, III, CDME. “Almost 50 percent of overnight visitors to Greater Miami and The Beaches are international – the highest percentage of any destination in the nation. We’re delighted to partner with Brand USA and Miami International Airport (MIA) to enhance the entry process which paves the way for an enjoyable visitor experience.”
“The United States wants more legitimate travelers to visit the USA and experience all our great nation has to offer,” says Executive Director of the National Travel and Tourism Office at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Kelly Craighead. “Knowing that a first impression is a lasting impression, we have set our sights on providing the best arrivals experience in the world to all of our international visitors, while simultaneously maintaining the highest standards of national security. Today’s unveiling of this cooperative ‘Market the Welcome’ visual upgrade to the international arrivals area at Miami International Airport is a terrific example of how we are working in public-private partnership with Brand USA and others to attract and welcome international visitors. Kudos to the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and Brand USA for coming together to help tell the USA’s story!”
Brand USA has a similar program with U.S. embassies in which display graphics, video, photography, and informational travel pieces adorn Consular rooms. This public-private collaboration on the front lines helps improve the visa application experience and showcase a wide breadth of experiences that travelers can have in the United States.
In 2014, 75 million international travelers who visited the U.S. spent a record $221 billion on goods and services, with direct support for 1.1 million jobs from international visitor travel-related spending, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Overseas visitors spend approximately $4,300 per trip, stay an average of 17 days, and generate tax revenue in communities across the United States without burdening local services.