Brand USA, the destination marketing organisation for the US, held its first-ever pan-European Mega FAM at the end of 2022, hosting 60 UK and European sales agents from nine key markets (UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy) across six simultaneous US itineraries.
In partnership with American Airlines and British Airways, the first Brand USA Mega FAM since pre-pandemic saw agents travel from coast to coast, with tours in Portland and Seattle, New Orleans and Austin, Chicago and Nashville, as well as Boston and Newport, experiencing new hotels, attractions, and activities. The different itineraries culminated with a joint grand finale in Fort Worth, Texas, where agents enjoyed guided walking tours and experienced the legendary Billy Bob’s Honky Tonk.
Each itinerary shined a spotlight on the wealth of diverse stories and new experiences across the U.S., in turn increasing the destination’s profile amongst the in-market travel trade. Itinerary highlights ranged from a walking tour of Lowcountry life in historic Charleston, to cliff walks past the sun-soaked Gilded Age mansions in Newport, Rhode Island, and exploring Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls in Oregon.
Jackie Ennis, vice president, global markets for Brand USA commented: “Brand USA Mega FAMs allow agents to really get under the skin of a destination to better sell the U.S. By working closely with our airline and destination partners, it is a valuable tool in driving recovery efforts across our leading international markets. We look forward to continuing this initiative globally and welcoming the next participants in our Brand USA Mega Fam UK and Ireland in April 2023.”
Gillian Wickers, head of UK leisure sales for British Airways, said: “We serve 27 destinations in the U.S. alone, so we know how fantastically diverse it is with so much to offer every traveller. There’s no better way for agents to get to know a destination than experiencing it first-hand, so we were delighted to see the return of the Brand USA Mega FAM which we know drives genuine enthusiasm for one of our most important markets.”
Denise Forbes, American Airlines head of leisure specialty and mid-market sales, UK & Ireland added: “After the pandemic, showcasing the US as a key travel destination is key for us, as we help travel agents and travellers alike discover new adventures. Brand USA is the ideal partner for us to do this, as we are able to tap-into their expert knowledge to best highlight everything the destination has to offer, and how we can best promote it.”
The next Brand USA Mega FAM in partnership with American Airlines and British Airways is set to take place on 19 April 2023, hosting 60 agents from the UK & Ireland on six itineraries across the US. Agents will need to log their bookings made with American Airlines and British Airways from 16 January – 28 February 2023 in order to be eligible to win a place on the trip, as well as complete the Mega FAM Airlines Badge on the USA Discovery Program UK & Ireland website. More information on the itineraries and finale will be released soon.