HomeTravel NewsBrand USA's Chris Thompson Bids Farewell at IPW 2024; Outlines US Inbound...

Brand USA’s Chris Thompson Bids Farewell at IPW 2024; Outlines US Inbound Tourism Growth

Chris Thompson – the outgoing head of Brand USA, the destination marketing organisation for the United States – has used his final press conference, at this week’s IPW 2024 event in Los Angeles, to outline how the US is set to grow its inbound tourism numbers even further this year and beyond and how the country remains the world’s premier travel destination.

Mr Thompson is retiring and will be replaced by Fred Dixon – currently the outgoing CEO of New York City Tourism + Conventions – in mid-July.

“There is a clear resurgence in travel enthusiasm with the United States continuing to lead the world in long-haul travel arrivals,” Mr Thompson said. “And, while retiring is bittersweet for me personally, the industry is strong, and Brand USA is well positioned which gives me the confidence to step aside.” 

Last year, the US welcomed nearly 67 million visitors, who spent a combined $213bn on travel and tourism-related activities within the United States—representing a 28% increase over the prior year.

Brand USA’s recent research shows that the United States is the top aspirational destination, ranking first among likely international travellers in Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, and Mexico. Particularly noteworthy is the surge in intent to visit the USA among Chinese visitors, which began increasing towards the latter half of last year and reached its highest level in March 2024 at 55%. 

The USA is set to welcome 90 million visitors who will spend $279bn annually by 2027, goals outlined in the 2022 National Travel and Tourism Strategy. The latest forecast by Tourism Economics shows that nearly 78 million visitors are expected to visit the USA by the end of 2024, and spending by international travellers is expected to grow by 74% between 2023 and 2027. 

“Brand USA’s commitment to inviting international travellers to the United States is a key reason why the USA remains the most aspirational travel destination in the world,” said Mr Thompson

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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