The Visit USA Committee and the Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service hosted its annual Visit USA Show on Thursday May 15 and Friday May 16. The event was also supported by Brand USA, a private-public entity established by the Travel Promotion Act, that sponsored and funded most of the event as part of their mission to encourage international visitation to the United States.
Visit USA is an organization that aims to promote traditional and non-traditional destinations to the United States as a promotional tool for their partners that make up the Visit USA Committee in Chile. Begun in 1993, this non-profit organization works with the Commercial Service section of the U.S. Embassy in Santiago as part of an effort to encourage travel to the United States.
The Visit USA Show is considered one of the best in South America for its achievements and is the most important event organized by the committee. The event brings together various travel agencies including major airlines, cruise lines, car rental firms, tourism wholesalers, and visitor bureaus of the U.S., in an effort to promote travelling to the United States and U.S. tourism.
This year’s event included representatives of numerous U.S. tourism companies in addition to many local participants. They are exhibiting at the event, as well as participating in round table discussions and presentations. On Thursday, the U.S. Embassy hosted welcome remarks and a business matchmaking session for U.S. exhibitors with the local travel industry. Friday’s event at the W Hotel opened with a seminar on U.S. Destinations and Products, including a breakfast seminar with presentations by U.S. exhibitors to tourism wholesalers and travel agents, and the inaugural and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Visit USA Show. The second half of the Visit USA Show program included a Visit USA workshop, a presentation on the Visa Waiver Program by the U.S. Consul General, and finally an American style brunch hosted by the committee.
This year’s event was also part of the effort to define new strategies to increase the number of Chilean travelers to the U.S. after the implementation of the Visa Waiver Program.
Representatives that participated in the event included U.S. representatives from CND Homes Orlando, B Ocean Hotel, Mimosa Hotel, Red and White Fleet, Unique Hotel Solutions, Best Western, Sea World, National Hotel Miami Beach, Opentours, and City Travel N.Y. City, and Chilean managers from organizations including Euroandino, Via Club, Panamericana, Expan, Andes Reps, Cosmo Service, ADS Mundo, MCO, Kuality, First Premium, Class One, Assist Card, Labbe Representaciones, and Mundo Cruceros.