|Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association introduces the Vote Travel bus|
International Pow Wow is a travel trade show where destinations across the USA get to promote themselves to international journalists, with a few domestic travel writers, like myself, thrown into the mix.
America gets a brand name, a theme song and a new tourism website
On Monday, Brand USA, unveiled DiscoverAmerica.com (its new website) and "Land of Dreams," a theme song written by Roseanne Cash designed to evoke a feeling about what America represents. A free download of the song is available on the website's home page. (Brand USA was created by Congress in 2010 to promote travel to the United States, which had declined after September 11, 2001.)
It's likely that DiscoverAmerica.com not only will attract foreign tourists but will also help Americans discover new destinations both across the country and in their own backyard. Visitors can "Explore" by clicking on pictures, searching by States, Territories or major cities as well as using filters (including Beaches, History, Natural Wonders, Shopping and Great Drives) to sort possibilities. For those that prefer to daydream by reading travel journals, there are reports of road trips made by three international visitors. (Hopefully, at some point some female travelers will be able to contribute and perhaps an American or two.)
By providing an email address to the DiscoverAmerica.com site, users can save info into a "suitcase." I found several items on the website that I wanted to save into a suitcase but couldn't. I wanted to find out more about the Indianapolis Zoo and save that to my suitcase, but I could only save info about the Indianapolis 500. (Although Los Angeles, Honolulu, New York, Dallas and Las Vegas are listed under major cities, Indianapolis and Houston aren't.)
The good news is that it's easy to click through to the website of a state such as Indiana. When I reached the Indiana website, however, I had to hunt for a page with a link to the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association website.
|President Obama addresses International Pow Wow attendees|
Good news for Chinese and Brazilian Visitors
President Barack Obama addressed the International Pow Wow delegates by videotape, stressing the importance of international tourism to America and the efforts we are making to expedite the Visa process while protecting our borders. Wait times for Visas for Chinese and Brazilian visitors that once took weeks is now often accomplished in days. And visitors from 36 countries, including Britain, France, Switzerland, Spain, New Zealand and Australia, aren't required to have a Visa.
Next year, International Pow Wow is set for Las Vegas. Presentations from Las Vegas made delegates eager to blow on some dice long before June 2013.
|Two showgirl ambassadors for Las Vegas|
|Elvis was alive and well and inspiring "Viva Las Vegas"|
|Performers from Cirque du Soleil's "Mystere" |
dazzle at a luncheon