By Emily King
Following an enormous USA tourism marketing campaign, international travelers are returning to the US after a decade of declining visitors.
Worldwide tourism is consistently on the rise, but for the US the past ten years have brought fewer and fewer international travelers. Complicated procedures for obtaining a US travel visa helped drive tourists away from the nation, but experts point to post-September 11th heightened security measures as the main deterrent of vacationers from other countries.
For the first time ever, the US government partnered with private advertising companies to form Brand USA and launch a massive marketing campaign in May. The print, web, and video ads focused on attracting tourists from Canada, Japan, and the UK. The ads are working--international travelers spent 11 percent more so far this year, and the numbers are expected to continue rising.
With a country as diverse and expansive as the home of the brave, the ads have a lot to choose from. Photographs of street saxophone players, surfing teens, national parks, beautiful fall foliage, island lighthouses, picturesque corn fields, the open road, and epic mountain canyons all entice foreigners to join in the American dream: Welcome to the USA.