GNTO's campaign: Improve outreach to U.S.

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NEW YORK -- The German National Tourist Office (GNTO) here began a two-pronged effort to improve outreach to U.S. travelers, launching a recovery marketing campaign and revamping its consumer Web site.

Michaela Klare, general manager for North America at the GNTO in New York, said the new cross-country Discover Germany advertising effort aims to boost summer bookings as well as fall and winter travel and to encourage Americans who canceled German vacations due to the war in Iraq to rebook.

But the campaign will not attempt to address recent political tensions over the war, she noted.

Instead, radio, newspaper and electronic promotions will highlight value-oriented vacations from partner tour operators, such as a three-night, $389 Berlin package from Nordique Tours.

"This campaign will alert Americans to the tremendous values Germany has to offer this summer and fall," said Klare.

Though nationwide in scope, the media campaign will focus on New York, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Promotions also will be posted at a new Web site, www.discovergermanynow.com.

Meanwhile, the GNTO unveiled an updated Web presence at its main U.S. consumer site, www.visits-to-germany.com.

The redesign renders the site less text-heavy, more colorful, easier to navigate and "just more lively," according to Klare.

However, the tourism board's travel trade site at www.germanyextranet.com has undergone little revision, because "it is working very well," said Klare. "But, of course, we'd like to get more and more travel agents to use it."

So the GNTO plans to boost vendors' presence at the site, and will organize a series of agent seminars to promote its features.

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