Brand USA, the destination-marketing organization for the United States, is expanding its large-scale, multi-itinerary familiarization tours that allow international travel agents to experience a wide range of travel in the United States.
As the MegaFam platform continues to grow, Brand USA will launch several new MegaFam initiatives for fiscal year 2017, including the:
- First fly and drive MegaFam, partnering with Air Canada
- First MegaFam with Mexico, partnering with AeroMexico
- First MegaFam by motor coach with Germany with support through Alamo and El Monte RV
- First MegaFam with China
Additionally, Brand USA will continue the successful MegaFams from the UK & Ireland, Australia & New Zealand and Germany.
In May, the fourth annual MegaFam with agents from the United Kingdom and Ireland took place in partnership with American Airlines and British Airways. Each year, both the number of agents who apply to be part of the MegaFam and flights logged has increased. During the three-month entry period, over 930 agents registered their international flight bookings from the UK and Ireland to the USA, up by 87% from the previous year and exceeding the target set.
The substantial rise in this year’s MegaFam entries is a reflection of the direct impact that Brand USA’s marketing and partnership efforts with American Airlines and British Airways have made on consumer demand in the market. The increase in agent bookings comes from the reignited passion that holidaymakers in the UK and Ireland have for the USA, as well as the agents who are selling it.
“Our MegaFam program – a first for the U.S. travel industry – is one of the most effective ways to promote travel across the USA,” said Chris Thompson, Brand USA’s President and CEO. “Each tour itinerary features a combination of travel experiences showcasing how everything from urban excitement to the great outdoors is all within your reach.”
Due to the increasing success and agent interest, Brand USA is expanding itsMegaFam platform. The UK MegaFam is guaranteed to add an additional seven spots making it the first time a MegaFam will host over 100 agents on its multi-itinerary tours.
“MegaFams provide partners of all sizes opportunities to showcase their destinations and travel-related services or products in ways that would not be feasible on their own,” Thompson said. “We’re looking forward to bringing agents from even more of our source markets to destinations to, through, and beyond our gateways.”
This year, was also the fourth annual Australia and New Zealand MegaFam. For the first time, Brand USA partnered with Air New Zealand and highlighted the new airline route between Auckland, New Zealand and Houston, Texas. This particular MegaFam also featured Brand USA’s first social-media competition during a MegaFam. Agents had unlimited Internet access, allowing them to convey their impressions and photos of their travel experiences with friends and online followers.
In September, Brand USA will host its third annual MegaFam with agents from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Brand USA’s airline partners are Lufthansa, and for the first time in connection with this event, United Airlines.
Since the MegaFam program began in 2013, Brand USA has hosted more than 650 travel agents from five countries and will have reached all 50 states and the District of Columbia by the end of this year.
International agents qualify for invitations to Brand USA MegaFams by completing designated modules of Brand USA’s online-training package, the USA Discovery Program. They also compete with each other through sales production.