The second day of Brand USA Week in London was fizzing with the excitement of Joe Biden’s signing of the proclamation and announcement of travel guidelines for the reopening on 8 November.
Buyers and suppliers joined U.S. exhibitors, including the CEOs of 16 DMOs and tourist authorities, to discuss trends and forge relationships that will bear fruit when international travellers begin crossing the Atlantic once more.
ITTN spoke to five of the CEOs; look out for those interviews in the coming days.
The media was also in attendance, joining with delegates and buyers in attending a series of ‘Enrichment’ sessions that covered a range of topics, from diversity in travel to the power of entertainment in destination marketing.
A greater reliance on travel agents and operators
One of the Enrichment sessions was ‘What do UK and European Travellers’ want. Moderated by Nick Hentschel of AmericanTours International, the panel of experts was made up of Pippa Jacks, Group Editor with TTG Media; Holger Jacobs, North American Editor with FVW; and Philippe Orain, International Director with Michelin Guides.
Their conclusions? Whatever hesitancy there was in travel is quickly disappearing, consumer confidence is at its highest since February 2020 and there is a genuine resurgence in the role of travel agents.
“Travellers are looking for some hand-holding to deal with the confusion and uncertainty of travel,” said Pippa Jacks.
Holger Jacobs agreed, saying his surveys of German consumers reveal that travellers want a relationship “they can rely on” and travel agents offer just that.
Into Nature’s Wild
In the evening, we were all invited to the BFI IMAX cinema for a screening of Shaun MacGillvray’s documentary, ‘Into Nature’s Wild.’
Commissioned by Brand USA in partnership with United Airlines and Expedia, MacGillivray’s giant-screen film is a breathtaking tribute to the glory and majesty of the wild spaces that the U.S. has in plentiful supply.