If the vision is correct—and, at first blush, there seems to be no mitigating reason why it shouldn’t be—marketing to key countries on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean from the U.S. will be one whose target is not just individual nations from the global region; rather those seeking to promote travel to the United States will consider it to be, and work it as such, a Pan-European market.
Of all the points made in a sort of end-of-the-fiscal year report at Brand USA’s recent Marketing Committee meeting, Tom Garzilli, Brand USA’s chief marketing officer, emphasized this point more than any other, and for good reason. In the short term, it is the motivation for the organization’s Brand USA Travel Week Europe September 9-12 at London’s County Hall, and we will have to wait to assess just how much business and the quality of that business is conducted between the tour operators from 20 European countries¹ and the 100 or so travel suppliers—mostly DMOs—from the United States when they meet for three days of appointments.
In the long term, the move to the notion of a Pan-European market will signal the move toward a greater efficiency of scale—as Brand USA and its hundreds of partners will be able funnel resources with a common signature, rather than execute overlapping programs for the region’s more than 25 countries.
Garzilli introduced the notion of a Pan-European market after walking committee members and a fair number of observers from the tour and travel industry in Minnesota (the meeting was held in Minneapolis) through a series of tables using data from the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), punctuating the presentation with instances of just how sizeable and just how lucrative—yet just how accessible—the overall European market is.
First, there were two side-by-side tables of the Top 11 Global Markets for the U.S., ranked both in terms of visitors and spend. The UK, Germany and France figure in both.
USA’s Top 11 Global Markets
“Of course, all of these markets are important to us,” said Garzilli, noting, however, “If you think of Europe for a minute as its own market economy, and why that makes sense .. the proximity, the geography of Europe itself being small and compact … “
Top Ten European Markets
“(Consider) the amount of product, the amount of U.S. cities served,” Garzilli continued, noting the fact that, from Europe, “forty-three or more us cities are served … out of 35 gateway airports … the fact that each of these gateway airports count on rest of Europe to feed into those flights … and the fact that all of those U.S. cities that lie outside of the initial our gateways lend to our story around proximity and our desire to get consumers to try new places.”
“All of that, along with media partnerships and … are pretty much pan-European deliveries,” he explained, adding, “all of that makes a lot of sense as to why we should look at Europe a single market—at least in term of some of our activities.” He then pointed to another dual table set which showed that, as a single market, Europe is No.3, behind only Canada and Mexico in visits to the U.S. and No. 1 in total spend.
Concluded Garzilli: “So, looking at Europe as a single market in many ways makes sense to us, and that’s why we have a pan-European strategy around our trade, and that’s why we started with a Brand USA Travel Week Europe. While we’re based in London, it is truly a pan-European event.”
¹ The countries are: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Poland, Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Croatia.
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