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Aussie agents turn out for East Coast USA mission events

July 16, 2014 Destination North America, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The inaugural East Coast USA mission has arrived in Australia, with about 150 agents turning out to Doltone House in Sydney’s Pyrmont for a series of workshops with key operators from New York City, New York State, Washington DC and Florida.

East Coast USA function gets underway at Sydney's Doltone House

East Coast USA function gets underway at Sydney’s Doltone House

The East Coast USA mission will visit Melbourne today (Wednesday 16 July) and then head to New Zealand for the final event, to be held in Auckland tomorrow.

Agents at the Sydney event learned, among many other things, that New York State will open a new Australian I LOVE NEW YORK office later this year. About 618,000 visitors from Australia visited New York State in 2013.

Elizabeth Davis of Niagara USA and Christopher Heywood of NYC & Company, with Sydney Harbour Bridge in background

Elizabeth Davis of Niagara USA and Christopher Heywood of NYC & Company, with Sydney Harbour Bridge in background

The East Coast USA mission will hold expos, meetings with travel industry partners and appointments in each location it visits, as part of a joint initiative to showcase America’s East Coast locations to the Australasian market. Destination marketing bodies NYC & Company, New York State, Destination DC and Visit Florida are behind the project.

While geography dictates that Australian visitors to the US tend to hit the West Coast first, more are heading further afield to America’s East Coast, where attractions range from beaches and history, to culture and family style offerings.

In 2013, for example, New York City welcomed 619,000 visitors from Australia and 26,000 from New Zealand.  Australia and New Zealand rank in the top five overseas markets for both New York City and Washington DC.

Beyond New York City, New York State’s attractions include landmarks like Niagara Falls, the wine trails of the Finger Lakes, the West Point Military Academy in the Hudson Valley and in the Adirondacks, where visitors encounter outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking and boating.

Newseum manager sales and marketing Roxana Rivera

Newseum manager sales and marketing Roxana Rivera

Washington DC has much to offer too, with more than USD 8.5 billion of development taking place in the city, including new hotels, restaurants and attractions. One of the top attractions in Washington DC is the Newseum – a museum of news, that offers visitors a state-of-the-art experience blending news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.

At the Sydney East Coast USA event, Newseum manager, sales and marketing, Roxana Rivera, said one popular Newseum exhibit was a gallery of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs – the most comprehensive collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever assembled, as well as interviews with many of the photographers.

Florida also is doing well from Australia. In 2013, Florida welcomed 303,000 Aussie visitors who spent more than USD 218 million, representing increases of 8% and 6% respectively over 2012 figures.  Australia comprises 24% of Florida’s volume of all emerging market visitors combined – and it provides 20% of the spending by emerging market visitors.

Exhibitors at the East Coast USA mission included Bike and Roll DC, The Broadway Collection, Heartland Brewery, Marriott International, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Newseum, New York Hilton Midtown, Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, The Roosevelt Hotel NYC, Starwood Hotels of New York, Tour Hero and Travel Advocates Group Hotel Specialists.

Written by : Peter Needham

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