U.S. to unveil travel marketing campaign this fall

By Bill Poling
The Corporation for Travel Promotion plans to stage a "coming-out party" at the World Travel Market in London in November, when it will unveil a brand identity and sketch out the theme for a global marketing campaign.

CEO Jim Evans said the campaign itself is targeted to be launched at the ITB Berlin travel show in March. He said he expects the CTP will have $150 million in industry and government matching funds for marketing during its first year.

Evans outlined the plan during a presentation at the corporation's monthly board meeting in Chicago.

Jim EvansThe board's vice chairman, George Fertitta (who heads NYC & Company) said the CTP is evaluating bids from global advertising firms to develop the campaign and will view strategic presentations in August, with an eye to getting the brand identity and campaign into development in September.

Evans also briefed the board on the progress of recruiting key officers, saying a chief marketing officer and vice president for business development are expected to come on board in August.

Bryan Lewis, chief of staff and general counsel at the U.S. Travel Association, will be joining the corporation as vice president for operations on Aug. 1.

The corporation, created by the Travel Promotion Act, will receive its government matching funds from a pool created by the fees paid by foreign visitors for electronic travel authorizations. Of that $14 fee, paid by visitors from countries in the Visa Waiver Program, $10 is earmarked for the corporation, in a 2-to-1 match for the first year.

That means if the corporation raises $50 million from the industry, the government match of $100 million will produce a first-year marketing budget of $150 million.

Under the terms of the Travel Promotion Act, at least $10 million of the industry contribution must be in cash, and the remainder can be "in kind" services such as infrastructure and staff support, advertising, and other goods and services.
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