National Travel and Tourism Week, now in its 35th year, is the annual salute to travel in America spearheaded by the U.S. Travel Association. This year’s theme, “Travel Then and Now,” celebrates how far the travel industry has come.
It is easy to see the ways that travel has changed over the years. Newer technologies have transformed the industry, from how consumers choose a destination, to how they get there, and how they interact with their surroundings.
One thing that has stayed remarkably the same, though: our industry’s unique emphasis on welcoming visitors from near and far, which has helped keep travel and tourism one of the strongest global industries.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, the U.S. travel industry is a top-10 employer in 49 states and the District of Columbia. International travel is the country’s No. 2 export. One in nine Americans depend on travel to and within the U.S. for their employment—and it’s not just those directly working in the travel industry, either. Overall, travel supports 15.6 million jobs and is a $2.4 trillion U.S. industry.
Not only has the travel industry changed remarkably, the marketing industry has as well. Since our inception in 2007, Expedia Group Media Solutions has seen some changes as well – and not just in the size of our team.
As travel marketers, we have seen the changes in the marketing industry firsthand, with strategies and technology evolving the industry from basic ads to immersive and interactive experiences and from print and billboards to digital and mobile first. Travel brands now more than ever, can interact, engage and inspire travelers no matter where they are in the world.
Through our recent campaign with Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, we are inspiring and converting travel to the U.S. In collaboration with the DMO, we launched a bespoke, interactive content hub that brings the vibrancy and diversity of the U.S. to life through immersive 3D audio experiences using just a pair of headphones, and inspires potential travelers to explore, plan and book a trip to the dynamic destination. The campaign, “Sound Travels,” changes the way international travelers discover the wide variety of destinations and experiences available in the U.S. Sound Travels is part of a two-year campaign to promote international travel to the U.S., and the focus on sound aligns with Brand USA’s new IMAX Film, “America’s Musical Journey,” which explores America’s history through the lens of music and sound.
This week is a great reminder to celebrate the travel industry, from past to present, and the importance it has as a primary driver in the U.S. economy and a significant part of our daily lives. To hear more from us about how we are working to support tourism, subscribe to our blog above.