Niagara Gazette — n Diane Shober, Tourism Director for the State of Wyoming.
n Arne M. Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, Inc.
n Roy Yamaguchi, internationally famous restaurateur, well known throughout the world for his innovative Hawaiian culinary arts featuring local ingredients.
n Lynda S. Zengerle, a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, head of the Immigration practice in the International Department.
According to their website (thebrandusa.com), the group is well financed with substantial investments from a who’s who list of major players including an “A” list of “Founding Partners” who contributed $1 million or more to the effort; organizations with names like:
Visit California, Visit Florida, Disney, U.S. Travel Association, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, Best Western, British Airways, Discover Illinois, ESPN, Expedia, Hilton Worldwide, Las Vegas CVA, Louisiana Travel, Marriott International, NYC, Orbitz, The World Baseball Classic, Universal, Visit Orlando.
Other investors, “Premier Partners” contributed from $500,000 up to $1 million including the Arizona Office of Tourism, Los Angeles Tourism, Greater Miami and the Beaches and several others, too many to mention here, along with several other organizations who invested between $100,000 and $500,000, and others who invested less, some cash, some in-kind.
Clearly, organizations have to pay something to get Brand USA’s full attention and substantial representation; if competition means anything in this industry, despite our unique brand name recognition, we cannot afford not to participate.
Participation may be well worth the cost if their busy events schedule reflects any measure of their efforts and likely results over time.
Between January and December of this year alone, Brand USA’s formidable professional staff will be present, representing its members at no fewer than 20 major tourism events all over the world from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Beijing, China and from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Moscow, Russia and more than a dozen other popular travel destinations all over the globe.