William D. Talbert: Brand USA has huge implications for Greater Miami
OPINION: It comes as no surprise to local Miamians that we are among the top tourists destinations in the world. Our community has everything a traveler seeks out—unique culture, impeccable food, and one-of-a-kind experiences. Greater Miami’s travel and tourism industry works hard to tell the world why they should plan their next trip to Miami. This is no selfless act, though. Attracting visitors to our community is absolutely critical to growing our economy and creating jobs. 

In 2017, visitors spent nearly $26 billion in Greater Miami, supporting 145,000 jobs. The Miami travel industry continues to grow, and our economy is reaping the benefits.

Unsurprisingly, international tourism is a major factor in our success. International visitors make up almost 70% of visitor spending. We continue to welcome an increasing number of international visitors, meaning more money for our local economy. 

We’ve worked hard to earn our reputation as a leading destination for international visitors. Through a combination of local initiatives and federal policies, we find our tourism economy booming, and we are working every day to keep it that way.

One key to our success has been the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau’s partnership with Brand USA. Brand USA is our country’s international marketing arm. Basically, it markets overseas to generate international travel to places like South Florida. 

What is so special about Brand USA is it partners with local tourism groups across the country to showcase all the different destinations our great nation has to offer. No one knows better than Miami that this program works.

Two years ago, we launched a campaign, in partnership with Brand USA, to “Market the Welcome.” Implemented first at the Miami International Airport, the program was designed to offer a warm and seamless arrival for international visitors. The goal was to show international travelers they are welcomed in our city by giving them a positive impression the moment they step off the plane. Ultimately, the aim is for visitors to stay longer, spend more, and visit again. The success of this program speaks for itself.

Over the past two years, we have continued to increase the number of international visitors that come to our city. Recognizing our role as a key gateway to America and building on our already large share of international visitors has allowed us to pave the way for an even more robust tourism future in Miami.

And we have public-private partnerships like Brand USA that make a real and significant impact at the local level. In the last month, travel leaders from across Miami and the state met with Congressman Diaz-Balart to emphasize the importance of extending federal programs like Brand USA. 

We are grateful for Congressman Diaz-Balart’s support of the travel industry and his understanding that an investment in travel is an investment in Miami’s economic development. As we work to become an even more sought-after destination, we look forward to seeing policies at all levels of government working to support our region’s economic growth and jobs.

William D. Talbert, III, CDME is the President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Read 2038 times Last modified on Wednesday, 26 September 2018 17:41
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A weekly podcast focusing on the people and stories shaping Florida politics produced by Trimmel Gomes an award-winning journalist and former statewide news director of Florida Public Radio. Gomes hosted its flagship program "Capital Report" and created the public affairs program "It's About Florida." Gomes is political commentator and regular political contributor to WTXL ABC 27 in Tallahassee.


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