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news | this season THIS SEASON:


22 In the know 23 Top 10 23 Barometer


25 Company 26 Technology 29 Hotels


30 Transport 33 Green 34 Lifestyle


IN THE KNOW Congress to rule on Brand USA


THE FUTURE OF Brand USA is looking more secure, following the introduction of bipartisan bills in both houses of Congress that aim to safeguard its funding arrangements until 2020. Te bills are necessary as the reauthorization


for Brand USA’s funding is currently tied up in an immigration bill that is stalled in the house. Without this reauthorization, the organization’s funding would be cut off from September 2015. Brand USA is bankrolled through private


contributions and fees collected from foreign tourists visiting the US under the Visa Waiver Program. However, this arrangement has proved controversial among some politicians, to the extent that in April, the House of Representatives approved a Republican budget resolution which called for the elimination of Brand USA. As well as securing Brand USA’s funding


arrangements, the two new bills also look to codify some of the organization’s existing


NEWS IN BRIEF


practices, while shifting the emphasis of private sector contributions toward cash donations and away from in-kind contributions. Te move comes during a buoyant period


for inbound tourism. In 2013, the US received a record 69.8 million visitors, up 4.7% on the previous year. In its Spring Travel Forecast, the US Commerce Department predicted this will grow a further 3.5% to 72.2 million in 2014, adding that the number of foreign visitors is likely to reach 83.8 million in 2018. In February, Brand USA issued research results


showing its marketing activity generated 1.1 million incremental visitors to the US in its second full year of operations (to September 30, 2013). Tese additional visitors spent $3.4bn. Te study, conducted by Oxford Economics,


analyzed eight key markets — Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and the UK. thebrandusa.com


Grand Canyon


n HOTEL CAMPAIGN: Wyndham Hotel Group has launched its first national multi-brand campaign. TV commercials, voiced by actor John Goodman, are being shown on primetime networks and cable TV through September 21, showcasing each of the group’s brands, as well as the Wyndham Rewards loyalty program. The campaign also includes digital and social media advertising. wyndhamworldwide.com


22 | ASTAnetwork | summer 2014


n EMIRATE REBRAND: Dubai has overhauled its brand identity in an attempt to become the world’s most visited city. The emirate launched its new logo (pictured above) ahead of a global advertising campaign, due to take place later this year, which will include a new website and app. Dubai is aiming to attract 20 million visitors annually by 2020, and to overtake London as the world’s most visited city. definitelydubai.com


n CRUISE ORDER: Royal Caribbean has ordered a fourth Oasis Class ship — the world’s largest cruise vessels. Due for delivery in 2018, the new ship will join Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and a third Oasis Class vessel, scheduled to arrive in spring 2016. The two new additions will both be more energy efficient than their predecessors, according to Royal Caribbean. royalcaribbean.com


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