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Visit USA Newsletter – July 2018

Visit USA Newsletter – July 2018

Dear Members,

It was wonderful to see many of you at the Visit USA Organisation Australia IPW member welcome event in Denver.  Thank you to those who came along and we hope you had a beneficial IPW week.

I’m pleased to share our quarterly update for the year featuring a wrap up on IPW exposure, regional expos, a social update and our plans for 2019 expos and media events.

Sincerely,
Lucy Rowe
President, Visit USA Organisation

NEWS & UPDATES
Consulate Update
Monique Roos, Senior Commercial Specialist, US Commercial Service has confirmed there are no new stats to report on for the coming quarter.  The National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) has put all reporting data on hold temporarily until technical issues have been sorted out with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.Media Visas
The US Consulate held an invite only meeting to discuss media visas this quarter, which was attended by Visit USA Organisation.  The meeting came about given the confusion with visiting media to the USA not knowing which visa type they should apply for when travelling on famil, broadcast or influencer visit.  The meeting identified the importance of media researching appropriate visas as the consulate cannot take responsibility for errors in application which could lead to media having to be turned back at customs.

Website Update
Updates to the soon to come Visit USA refreshed website are still underway and hope to be launched in the next quarter.

Social Media
Members were invited by PR Manager, Lizzie Doyle to email across images to appear on our social pages across Instagram andFacebook, those who have not yet shared images, captions and social tags, we encourage you take advantage of this member benefit.

The member audience of Visit USA Organisation is focused solely on travel agents and media, not consumers direct.  We look to build the travel agent audiences through our events, therefore engagement is highest around expo events and regional shows.

Our Facebook page has 2234 followers and 2259 likes, the average organic reach for this quarter without boosting was 318 per post.  Given Facebook’s algorithm limitations, boosting is the only way to reach total audiences.  Visit USA is looking into this option for members who are interested to buy into this distribution space at a minimum spend of $70 per post.  Instagram is still relatively new to Visit USA Organisation and growing steadily with 130 followers.

AFTA National Tourism Industry Awards
Visit USA Organisation will be attending theNTIA Gala Dinner at the International Convention Centre Sydney this month to determine future sponsorship and benefits for members.  The event recognised and rewards excellence in the Australian travel industry.  AFTA is the Australian Federation of Travel Agents, they are the peak industry body through which the business interests of travel agents are represented.IPW 2018 Media
In partnership with American Airlines, Visit USA was pleased to host Bruce Piper from Travel Daily and Matt Leedham from KarryOn as our special guests.

Ahead of IPW, Visit USA joined the US Consulate for a briefing event at the Eden Bar & Restaurant in Sydney, where IPW media and travel trade guests were provided with highlights on what they could expect at IPW and how to engage with Visit USA Organisation whilst attending.

A summary of IPW exposure is below:

Travel Daily links:
21 May 2018 – Page 4
22 May 2018 – Page 1
23 May 2018 – Page 4
24 May 2018 – Page 4 & 5

Travel Bulletin links
June issue 2018 – Page 8
July issue 2018 – Page 46

KarryOn links:
21 May 2018  – Story link + Event happenings
22 May 2018 – Story link + Event happenings
24 May 2018 – Story link
11 June 2018 – American Airlines story link

Each media outlet also regularly posted on their social media sites daily throughout IPW.
In addition to the exposure, our pr team also arranged for KarryOn journalist Nathalie Craig to interview Visit USA president Lucy Rowe on the role Visit USA plays in IPW wich was published at the end of June.  Lucy was also interviewed this quarter by News Corp Escape on travel trends to the USA.

IPW: Bruce Piper – Travel Daily, Matt Leedham – Karryon and David Clark – Treasurer, VUSA
EVENTS
Regional Shows
Travel agents in regional NSW and QLD enjoyed a sit down meal and presentation by Visit USA Organisation participating members throughout the last quarter.   Engagement was high and feedback from agents who participated was warm and welcoming, with emphasis on thanks that Visit USA took the time to visit regional centres.  The format saw agents roam from booth to booth before enjoying a sit down meal and 5 minute presentation by participating members.Attendee numbers included
111 – Gold Coast
34 – Sunshine Coast
70 – Newcastle
30 – Wollongong
31 – Canberra

Thank you to our prize donations from Fiji Airlines with flights to the USA, Handlery Hotels for accommodation in either San Francisco or San Diego, and San Francisco for City Passes.

Images are from the 2018 Regional Shows
2019 Expo Dates
Events Manager Karen Prideaux has shared 2019 expos dates with all members which will take place in February focusing on the East Coast of Australia. Information on participation including sponsorship opportunities and costing will be sent out to members late July early August.  We hope to see many members attend our biggest expos on the calendar for the year.18 Feb – Melbourne
19 Feb – Brisbane
20 Feb – Sydney (includes AGM)
21 Feb – B2B (organised by Brand USA)
22 Feb – Media breakfast

2019 Visit USA Media Event
Visit USA is anticipating to hold their annual media event during expo week on 22 February in Sydney. Following the success of last year’s format, the event is looking to be an early breakfast. Further event information will be distributed in coming months.

FUTURE COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Sept 18 – Committee meeting 10am
Nov 20 – Committee meeting 10am
Jan 22 – Committee meeting 10am