//Brand USA to host Focus on UK & Ireland

Brand USA to host Focus on UK & Ireland

“We’re thrilled to kickstart the conversations about inbound tourism to the US,” says Chris Thompson, Brand USA president and CEO.

Brand USA, the destination marketing organisation for the United States, has announces its next event, Focus on UK & Ireland for April 20-21.

It will be hosted on Brand USA Global Marketplace, a custom-built, always-on platform that provides access to a range of US destinations, attractions, and points of interest for the travel industry.

Chris Thompson, Brand USA president and CEO, says, “We’re thrilled to kickstart the conversations about inbound tourism to the US. from the UK and Ireland as we plan for the reopening of borders and the resumption of international travel. Together, the UK and Ireland represent the largest overseas market for inbound visitation and are vital to the United States’ ability to drive growth.”

“Now, more than ever, we need to connect our US partners with U.K. and Irish industry leadership and travel trade, as we work together to emerge from the pandemic, shape our recovery campaigns, and build the future of U.S. tourism. We look forward to welcoming UK and Irish agents to the platform for the first time.”

Brand USA said that the first day of Focus on UK & Ireland will offer US partners the chance to hear from a range of industry leaders as they shine a spotlight on the UK and Ireland’s “rapidly evolving travel and consumer landscape, economy, and emerging trends.”

Programme highlights include The Resilience and Future of the UK and Irish Traveller, where Claire Bentley, managing director at British Airways Holidays; Adam Armstrong, CEO at Contiki, and Lisa McAuley, managing director atdnata will join a panel discussion moderated by Amanda Hills, president at MMGY Hills Balfour.

The Future of Transatlantic Aviation will feature an update from aviation industry experts with Bill Byrne, vice president of North America and director of global sales at Aer Lingus; Bob Schumacher, director of the UK & Ireland at United Airlines; and Rikke Christensen, vice president of networks, alliances, and commercial planning at Virgin Atlantic. The panel will be moderated by industry veteran, Nigel Mayes, senior vice president at Airport Strategy & Marketing (ASM).

The second day of the event will be a USA Training Day, an interactive session focusing on equipping UK and Irish tour operators and travel agents with the latest travel trade marketing, sales, and training tools to help sell travel to the United States.

Programme highlights include Exploring the Great Outdoors in the USA, a conversation about the appeal of the great outdoors to the led by Caroline Beteta, president and CEO at Visit California. Panellists joining the discussion include Keiko Matsudo Orrall, executive director at Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism; Todd Davidson, chief executive officer at Travel Oregon; and Brad Smyth, director of economic development and tourism at Travel Texas.

Agents will be welcomed into networking rooms which will be geographically themed around four regions of the USA. As part of networking, there will be a moderated Q&A session where U.K. and Irish tour operators and travel agents can ask U.S. partners questions.

At the end of the USA Training Day, tour operators and travel agents will have the chance to participate in a thematic quiz about the United States. The quiz will include themed rounds and prizes include flights courtesy of Aer Lingus, American Airlines, and United Airlines.

Tour operators and travel agents may access Brand USA Global Marketplace free of charge, however advance registration for Focus on UK & Ireland events is required, and must be completed by April 19, 2021. Tour operators and travel agents may register for the platform via this link: brandusaglobalmarketplace.com/focus-on-uk-and-ireland.