are delighted that the Commerce Dept. and its friends in the travel
industry are pleased with the results of an ad campaign in London
designed to get people over there to come over here.
For those who are
new to this game, its called tourism marketing.
As reported in our
news pages today, some public- and private-sector officials were
mildly surprised that people in England saw the ads, remembered
them and came away with favorable impressions of the U.S. and the
first inklings of desire to see it up close and
Buoyed by the
positive results, U.S. tourism marketers are optimistic about doing
noteworthy -- in fact, unprecedented -- about all this, of course,
is the use of a few million dollars of federal money.
The industry has
been telling Uncle Sam for as long as we can remember that the U.S.
needs, and would benefit from, a federally supported marketing
campaign to lure foreign visitors to this country.
Congress eventually wrote a
check two years ago, but in a sad series of events, the
appropriation kept shrinking until the amount available was barely
enough for a pilot program.
According to a
professional evaluation of the ad campaign, it could result in
bringing an additional 2 million U.K. visitors to this country. If
each of those visitors spends a mere $3 here, the $6 million ad
campaign will have paid for itself.
The simple fact is:
Tourism marketing works. It works for Greece, it works for Mexico,
it works for New Zealand. And it works for us, too.
youre looking for signs of intelligent life among the major legacy
airlines this summer, you might find some at Continental, which is
employing an interesting strategy in transatlantic
Over the past month
the airline has inaugurated transatlantic nonstops from its Newark
hub to Bristol, England; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Stockholm,
Sweden; and Hamburg, Germany. In a week it will add
Last year at about
this time it was adding Edinburgh, Scotland and Oslo,
This is an
interesting list. On some of these routes, such as Bristol and
Belfast, Continental is a pioneer, with the first U.S. nonstops
ever offered. In others, it has only limited competition. In short,
it has found some markets where it stands a chance of earning
We are accustomed
to bashing the airlines for their endless complaining about high
labor costs, high taxes, the price of fuel and the insensitivity of
the federal government, so it is only fair to acknowledge their
creative self-help activities from time to time.
We singled out
Continental, but it is one of several airlines that has produced
innovative ideas about where to put its airplanes. Such airlines
deserve a nod of respect and our wishes for a successful