March 12, 2012

Vermont Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith has been appointed to the Brand USA Marketing Advisory Board. She will attend the first meeting of the board this week in Washington, D.C. representing Vermont and New England tourism interests.
“Both Canada and overseas international markets have enormous opportunities for both Vermont and the New England region,” Smith explained. “Our history and our brand, from skiing and maple syrup to the Trapp Family, have an amazing resonance around the world.”

Brand USA, formerly known as the Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP) was established by the Travel Promotion Act passed by Congress and signed into law in March 2010. Brand USA is a public private partnership with the mission of promoting leisure, business and educational travel to the United States, and stimulating economic growth and jobs creation. Funding is being provided by a $21 million Federal matching program, with recent $1 million gifts from the Walt Disney Company and Best Western International. Brand USA unveiled a new, global brand marketing campaign at the 2011 World Travel Market in London this past November.

Commissioner Smith is the first person from New England to be appointed to this board. “Commissioner Smith’s appointment means that Vermont will have a direct line to this marketing powerhouse, “said Gov. Peter Shumlin. Smith will advise Brand USA on the ongoing development and execution of America’s first ever global consumer brand marketing, and will encourage dialog among Vermont tourism leaders about meeting the needs of international visitors and the efficacy of Brand USA marketing efforts.

For the first 11 months of 2011, international visitation to the United States (57.6 million) was up five percent compared to the same period in 2010, according to the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI), U. S. Department of Commerce. International visitor spending for 2011 is expected to exceed the total $134.4 billion (travel receipts + passenger fare receipts) international visitors spent experiencing the United States in 2010.

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