Brand USA received a 250 million care package of pandemic money in March.
Chris Thompson, CEO of Brand USA, says now they intend to spend that money to help locals attract more business. "We're lending brand equity from the overall USA brand to the tour operator for the experiences their clients are looking for or wanting to know about and learn about."
Some would argue that spending the money that way would be using tax dollars to promote privately held businesses. And they would probably be right.
Thompson told Travel Weekly that the organization is also working more with international social media influencers to show destinations' readiness, which is not something that marketers had to think about previously. According to Thompson, the experiences the influencers have in the U.S. that they present to their followers is "a more compelling way for us to prove we're ready, as opposed to just saying we are."
Major cities are also gearing up to get the tourists back. For example, New York City has launched a new campaign entitled Get Local NYC, encouraging all visitors to visit all five boroughs. New York City Mayor Adams said at an NYC tourist event, "My administration is laser-focused on driving tourism in this city and letting the world know that New York City is back. Our hospitality and tourism industry has long been an engine of economic prosperity that impacts all New Yorkers."