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Brand USA reponse to request for information from Senator Jim DeMint

Brand USA reponse to request for information from Senator Jim DeMint

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Published by Amanda Carpenter

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Amanda Carpenter on Jul 02, 2012
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07/02/2012

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BRAND USABOARD OF DIRECTORSStephen J. CloobeckChairman, Brand USA
Chairman & CEO,Diamond ResortsInternational
Caroline BetetaChair-Elect, Brand USA
President & CEO,Visit California
George FertittaVice Chair, Brand USA
CEO, NYC & Company
Randy A. Garfield
Executive Vice President,Worldwide Sales &Travel Operations,Disney Destinations;President, Walt DisneyTravel Company
Daniel Halpern
President & CEO,Jackmont Hospitality, Inc.
Tom Klein
President,Sabre Holdings
David Lim
Chief MarketingOfficer, Amtrak
Mark Schwab
CEO, Star AllianceServices GmbH
Diane Shober
Director, WyomingOffice of Tourism
Roy Yamaguchi
Owner and Founder,Roy’s Restaurant
Lynda S. Zengerle
Partner, Steptoe &Johnson LLP
 
June27,2012
VIAElectronicTransmission
TheHonorableJamesW.“Jim”DeMintSR-167RussellSenateOfficeBuildingUnitedStatesSenateWashington,DC20510-4004
RE:BrandUSA–June14,2012InformationRequest
DearSenatorDeMint:
IamwritingpursuanttomyletterfromJune20,2012,inresponsetoyourletterdatedJune14,2012,requestinginformationfromBrandUSA(theCorporationforTravelPromotion).Asapublic-private,nonprofitentitycreatedbyCongresstopromotetheUnitedStatesabroad,wetakeourmissionandprogrammaticresponsibilitiesseriously.WeapplaudthecommitmentbyCongresstocallforthehigheststandardsoftransparency,performance,andaccountability.
BrandUSAwasestablishedbytheTravelPromotionActin2010tospearheadthenation’sfirstglobalmarketingefforttopromotetheUnitedStatesasapremiertraveldestination,communicateU.S.entry/exitpoliciesandprocedures,andidentifyandcorrectmisconceptionsaboutthosepolicies.Itisfundedthroughacombinationofindustrysupportandfeesontravelersfromvisawaivercountries—itisrunatnocosttotaxpayers.TheCongressandthetravelindustrycametogetherinanunprecedentedefforttocreatetheCorporationforTravelPromotion(BrandUSA)inordertoeffectivelycompetegloballyforAmerica’sfairshareofinternationalvisitors.WhilenationslikeCanada,UK,Mexico,andevenTurkeyoutpacedusbyspendingupwardsof$100million-$200millionperyear,theUnitedStatessawourshareofinternationalarrivalsdeclineby37percentbetween2000and2010.ThecosttotheU.S.economyoflostmarketshareisestimatedtobe78millionvisitors,$606billioninspending,andsupportfor467,000jobsannually.BrandUSAiswellpositionedtobeakeycatalysttoreversethesedeclinesandbringinnewspendingtocreatejobsinall50statesandthroughoutthetravelandtourismsupplychain.Every33overseastravelerstotheUnitedStatessupportoneU.S.job.
ItiswithgreatappreciationthatIprovideyoutheinformationyourequestedonBrandUSAanditspromotionalactivitiestodate.Indoingso,IhopetoprovideyouaclearerunderstandingoftheoperationalframeworkofBrandUSA.First,InotethattheU.S.DepartmentofCommercehastransmittedBrandUSA’sFY11annualreporttotheCongress,asmandatedbytheTravelPromotionAct.TheannualreportgoesbeyondFY11andreviewsatimelineofBrandUSAactivitythroughMay2012andlaysouttheorganization’sFY12objectives.Weencourageallinterestedpartiestoreviewthereport,whichBrandUSAhaspostedtoitscorporatewebsite.Inaddition,ourIRSForm990isdueAugust15,2012,andwearehappytodeliveritimmediatelyuponitscompletion.
 
1.
 
 AlldocumentsassociatedwiththeproductionoftheLaunchPartyheldattheBritishMaritimeMuseum,includingallcostsassociatedwiththeevent,menus,transportation,swaggivento guests,invoicesfromcontractors,andmuseumrentalcharges. 2.
 
 AcomprehensivelistofallBrandUSAemployeesandBoardmemberswhoattendedtheWorldTravelMarketandBrandLaunchPartyattheBritishNationalMaritimeMuseuminLondon.
WithregardtoWorldTravelMarket,keyinternationalmediaandbuyersofNorthAmericantravelproducthailedBrandUSA’sgloballaunchintothemarketashighlycompellingandsuccessfulinanextremelycompetitiveenvironment.WTMistheworld’slargestEnglish-speakingtraveltradeshow.Theweek-longeventdrawsover55countriesandapproximately50,000seniortravelindustryprofessionalsshowcasingtheirdestinationstoprospectivebuyersandmediacoveringtravelproductdistribution.2011wasthefirsttimein32yearsoftheshowthattheUnitedStatespresenteditselfunderaunifiedbannerandattractedsignificantattentiononparwithcompetitorsthatspendasmuchasa$1million-$3millionormoreontheirWTMpresence.
BrandUSAandpartneringorganizationsusedthisimpressiveforumtolaunchitsbrandidentityandcommunicateitsplansforthecampaignlaunchin2012.Attachment1providesdetailsrelatedtothespecialbrandlauncheventatWTM.BrandUSA’spresenceatWTMandproductionofthelauncheventwerebothcarriedoutatcostswellbelowfairmarketvaluethankstorobustsupportfromindustrypartners.VisitCaliforniastaffalonecontributed259hoursofvolunteertimetoputthebrandlaunchtogether(approximately$50,000value).Inaddition,VisitCalifornia’sLondon-basedUKofficesover$200,000ofstafftimefreeofchargetothebrandlaunchoverthe4.5-monthpreparationperiod.
3.
 
ThesalariesandbenefitsofthetopfivemosthighlycompensatedindividualsemployedbytheCorporation.4.
 
 AnitemizedlistingofallexpensesincurredbytheCorporationsinceitsfoundingcurrentthroughthedateofthisletter.10.
 
 AdetailedanditemizedbreakdownofallthecostsassociatedwiththecontractwithJWT,includingcostsassociatedwithretainingtalent,theproductionofvideos,andothermultimediaitems.
Withrespecttoyourbudgetmanagementinquiry,pleaseseetheattacheditemizedexpenseslistwhichdetailsBrandUSA’soutlayssinceitsfoundingcurrenttoJune25,includingexpendituresforcostsassociatedwithdevelopmentandexecutionofthemarketingcampaign,includingcostsassociatedwithourworkwithJWT.BrandUSAdedicatesapproximately85%ofitsoperatingbudgettoprogrammaticactivitiesandmanagesgeneralandadministrativecoststoapproximately15%oftheoperatingbudget.ThesalariesandbenefitsofBrandUSA’sofficersareareflectionofthevaluetheorganizationplacesonoptimizingitsexpendituresonhumancapital.ManypartnershavecontributedexecutivetalenttoBrandUSAfreeofcharge,includingtwoofthefivemostseniorexecutivescurrentlyundertheorganization’semploy.
ItisworthreiteratingthattheBrandUSAboardofdirectorsdecidedtoacceptnoreimbursementfortravel,time,oranyotherdutieseventhoughtheTravelPromotionActpermitsreimbursement.
2
 
BoardmembershavededicatedlonghourscrisscrossingtheglobetopromotetheUnitedStateswithoutreimbursementofanykind.Infact,boardmembersareproudofthetimeandresourceswehavecontributedbecauseBrandUSAisacausethattheunitedtravelindustrystronglysupports.
5.
 
 Anitemizationofallcashandin-kindcontributionsmadetothecorporationcurrenttothedateofthisletter.6.
 
Copiesofallin-kindadvertisingcontributionsmadetotheCorporationincludingtheclaimedvalueforthecontributionbytheCorporation.7.
 
RequestforinformationoncorrespondencebetweentheDepartmentsofCommerceandTreasury8.
 
RequestforinformationoncorrespondencebetweentheDepartmentsofCommerceandTreasury
Onthepartnershipdevelopmentside,industryandcommunitiesacrossthecountryhavesteppedupinunifiedsupportofBrandUSA.Theattacheditemizationofallcashandin-kindcontributionstoBrandUSAshowsatop-linelevelofsupportsubmittedtodate.BrandUSAhasalreadymetitsFY12cashcontributiongoalof$10millionanditsin-kindpipelineofmorethan250entitiesbringsitclosetoitsFY12in-kindgoalof$40million.WhilerequestsfordocumentationoncorrespondencebetweentheDepartmentsofCommerceandTreasuryshouldbedirectedtowardthoseagencies,attachment3highlightsthetotalamountsubmittedformatchingfundsinsequenceofthefivesubmissionsmadetodate.EachsubmissionfordrawdownofmatchingfundsiscertifiedbytheindependentaccountingfirmKPMG.
9.
 
Thenumberofwebpagehitstowww.discoveramerica.comidentifiedbycountryoforigin.11.
 
CopiesofprintadvertisementsplacedoverseasbyBrandUSAandalistingofthepublicationsinwhichtheadvertisementswereplacedorlocationofoutdooradvertisingplacement.
TheintegratedmarketingcampaignwelaunchedinCanada,Japan,andtheUKwasguidedbyquantitativeandqualitativeresearchconductedin11markets.Thisresearchhelpedusdevelopamulti-facetedmarketingprogram,comprisedoftelevision,out-of-home,print,digital,andinteractivesocialmediaelements.Italsoallowedustodeterminetheoptimummarketstolaunchthecampaignandthetimingforeachlaunch.Itwillcontinuetoguideourmarketingasthecampaignexpandstonewmarkets.TheresponsetoBrandUSA’screativehasbeenoverwhelminglypositivefromindustryandconsumeralike.
Highimpactprintandout-of-homemediawasusedinourthreelaunchmarketstodriveawarenessandcreateinspirationthroughourvariedcreativeexecutions.InCanada,DundasSquareisthebiggestintersectioninCanadawithahighassociationwithtourism.BrandUSAalsoleveragedthelargestCanadiannationaldigitalnetworkthroughOOHboardswithmorethan2.5millionindailycirculation.RunofscheduletransitpostersinCanadaprovidedefficientmarketcoverageandagainallowedformultipleexecutions.InLondon,Undergroundpostersprovidedhighquality,frequentmessaging.SpecialoutdoorbuildslikeCromwellRoadandBatterseaPowerStationgeneratedhighimpactandcreativeflexibility.PrintadvertisingintheJapanesemarketallowedBrandUSAtodelivermoredetaileddestinationinformationtosupplementshorterTVadvertisingformats.TheYamanotelinetraintakeoverwasahighimpa
 
ctplacementthatallowedforboththeprintandvideoassetstobeshowcased.Traveltradeprintadvertisinginallthreemarketsallowedustobuildawarenessandrelationshipwithlocaltravelagentsandtouroperators.Attachment4describesthelocationofourcurrentprintandout-of-homeadvertisingandprovidesvisualsofsomeoftheplacements.
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