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Brand USA Announces Culinary Initiative at Destination & Travel Foundation Dinner

February 17, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Brand USA, the public-private partnership responsible for launching the United States’ first-ever nationally coordinated tourism-marketing effort, unveiled its culinary initiative.

The announcement was made at the twenty-first annual Destination & Travel Foundation Dinner, which honored the James Beard Foundation with the annual Spirit of Hospitality Award.

The new initiative will kick off in July this year with the launch of a culinary guide to the United States. The guide will be a high-quality and enticing publication that inspires the world to discover the destinations and tastes of the United States like never before. It will bring together some of the best-known American chefs and dishes with the destinations they represent. The guide is being put together with the State Department’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, which is an exciting collaboration with James Beard-recognized chefs and others.

“Breaking bread unites people across cultures and languages. It is a welcoming act and it embodies the diversity and possibility of the United States,” said Christopher L. Thompson, President and CEO of Brand USA. “It’s no surprise that culinary and food-related tourism is a major driver of inbound travel to the United States and one of the highlights of our popular culture.”

The culinary guide will be launched at Independence Day celebrations at several U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Chefs from the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership will travel to several of these embassies for a week of culinary diplomacy and travel promotion. These efforts will be accompanied by a robust digital and social platform to drive interest in culinary experiences across all regions of the United States.

Thompson added, “It’s a great example of all that a public-private collaboration can be.”

The Destination & Travel Foundation Dinner and Dream Auction is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year and attracted nearly 1,000 industry professionals to celebrate the universal power of destinations, travel and food. The award is the highest recognition presented annually to individuals and organizations that show exceptional dedication and commitment to the travel and tourism industry.

Victoria Isley COO, Destination Marketing Association International and Executive Director, Destination & Travel Foundation noted that “the bond between food, restaurants, culture and travel runs deep. The James Beard Foundation has been the spiritual leader in the global movement of culinary tourism. We are proud to recognize the important role that chefs and restaurateurs play in telling the story of destinations around the world.”

Brand USA is the public-private partnership responsible for promoting the United States as a premier travel destination and communicating U.S. entry/exit policies and procedures. Established by the Travel Promotion Act in 2010, the organization’s mission is to increase international visitation to the United States while working in partnership with the travel industry to maximize the economic and social benefits of travel. These benefits include creating jobs essential to the economy and fostering understanding between people and cultures. For industry or partner information about Brand USA, visit For information about travel to and around the United States, please visit Brand USA’s consumer website at

The Destination & Travel Foundation is a complementary organization to Destination Marketing Association International. The mission is to enhance the destination marketing and travel professions through research, education, visioning and development of resources and partnerships for those efforts. The Destination & Travel Foundation is classified as a charitable organization, under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1954. Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible as charitable contributions.

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