As the American economy struggles, international interest in visiting the U.S. is highlighting a potential economic boon, according to the Travel Industry Association (TIA). The TIA says one key indicator of this interest is TIA's newly launched DiscoverAmerica.com, the nation's official travel and tourism website. The website logged 1 million minutes of research by travelers worldwide and more than 1.1 million page views in its first three months of operation.
"Welcoming more international visitors— who spend as much as $4,000 per traveler, per visit— is critical to strengthening the American economy," said Roger J. Dow, president and CEO of the TIA. "DiscoverAmerica.com's early success points to its usefulness and demonstrates that there is an appetite for visiting the United States. It's time for our country to take advantage of this opportunity."
The website— actually six sites tailored for English- and French-speaking Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Japan and Germany— includes rich content on dozens of popular U.S. cities, all 50 states and five U.S. territories, hundreds of attractions, activities and restaurants, and booking options in addition to official entry information and an online travel community.
DiscoverAmerica.com's Japanese-language site has garnered the highest use (36 percent), followed by the German site (21 percent), the Canadian sites (16 percent), the U.K. site (14 percent) and the Mexican site (13 percent).
DiscoverAmerica.com was launched in target countries between May and July 2008 following its development as a result of a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and the TIA. Launch markets are the five nations that generate roughly 75 percent of all inbound travel to the U.S.