|by Budget Travel||National Parks, Helpful Websites, Technology, Trip Ideas, Family Travel||7|
In April, the United States launched its first–ever global marketing campaign, "Come and Find Your Land of Dreams," aimed at attracting international travelers, who on average spend about $4,000 per trip to the U.S. An initial wave of television ads began in May in the United Kingdom, Japan, and Canada, and a second wave will target Brazil and South Korea. With a theme song, “Land of Dreams,” written and performed by Roseanne Cash, the campaign, developed under the U.S. Travel Promotion Act of 2010, includes not only television but also social media.
A website, DiscoverAmerica.com, offers a surprisingly deep well of information for trip–planners—both foreign and domestic. The site is so rich, you might consider bookmarking it and returning often for its concise overviews of American cities and states.
The homepage features a rotating set of images of states, giving users not only the option to click on the image to learn more but also to hit a “more like this” button that helps the site zero in on what a user is most interested in. (In this respect the button is like the thumbs–up on the music site Pandora.) Hitting “More like this” on an Acadia National Park image, for instance, yielded a new set of homepage image, dominated by travel destinations that featured either mountains or ocean or were situated in New England. Hitting “More like this” on an image of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, on the other hand, caused the homepage to fill with images of other art museums around the U.S. and other locales within New York City.
DiscoverAmerica’s social media campaign includes a Summer Guide on Facebook, which encourages you to choose from four travel experiences: “See It” delivers links to events like art installations and fireworks displays; “Feel It” offers you a choice of outdoor activities such as camping, canoeing, and sailing; “Hear It” presents concert options like the Pitchfork Musical Festival in Chicago, and the All Good Music Festival in Thornville, Ohio; and “Taste It,” of course, links to food events such as the National Buffalo Wing Festival in (where else?) Buffalo, and the Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland.
The heart of DiscoverAmerica is the various pages dedicated to states and cities. Each section is unique, with some states having developed their own original content and others featuring material re–purposed from travel guidebooks and other sources. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with far–flung destinations or just delve deeper into your own backyard. (For instance, I just learned that the Museum of Modern Art, just a short walk from Budget Travel’s offices, has 23,000 films in its collection; I’m going to check and see what’s playing tomorrow night!)
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