Visit USA Newsletter – January 2019

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco



A Note From The President


Happy New Year Members, I hope you enjoyed a break over the festive season.  It’s been a very busy lead up to the new year for the Visit USA Organisation (VUSA) in Australia, as we aligned with partners over Thanksgiving for a number of events in Sydney, whilst also engaging in all the preparation required for the biggest event series on our calendars, the annual Visit USA Expos in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.  Enjoy catching up on all our happenings and I look forward to seeing all members who will be travelling to Australia next month for the expo series.




Visit USA – Botanical Gardens

Over 60 members of the US travel industry attended VUSA’s annual Thanksgiving Breakfast at the Sydney Botanical Garden Restaurant on 22 November 2018 with pancakes, bacon and pumpkin pie featuring on the menu. On arrival, guests were treated to a mini train ride through the gardens to the restaurant, co-sponsored by The Great American West, who also presented during the event.  Additional key partners at the breakfast included Virgin Australia Airlines and Delta Air Lines, as well as Brand USA.


Industry members attending enjoyed fun prize giveaways with Ruth Arimado of Travel Weekly taking home a Las Vegas show bag, Polly Simons of Colorado Tourism Office claiming a large frozen Turkey, and Grant Robertson of Hertz celebrating with the major prize of two return Virgin Australia/Delta economy class airfares from Sydney to the USA presented by Rob Hamer -Jones, State Sales Manager for Virgin Australia and Tiffany Rowe, Marketing Manager for Delta Air Lines.


A big thanks to our travel trade media partners who came along and supported the event.


Travel Weekly




Travel Daily

– website

– EDM page 4


Partner Thanksgiving Events

Visit USA also attended some of our members Thanksgiving events including American Airlines amazing long table lunch at the Hyatt Regency, as well as Hawaiian Airlines colourful evening of harbourside cocktails at the Hacienda Bar, Pullman Quay Grand.  Both events saw a tremendous turn out of industry partners gathered to celebrate the American holiday.




Our partners Brand USA have had their own busy season of events launching the long- awaited America’s Musical Journey, a new TV channel and the new Chicago route.


Matt Fletcher reports successful film launch dates and venues for America’s Musical Journey were:

29th November 2018 in Sydney at the Playhouse Theatre, Opera House

27th  November 2018 in Brisbane at the Event Cinema Myer Centre

3rd December 2018 in Melbourne at the IMAX


Brand USA also supported the launch of the new Chicago route with an event for Australian and NZ trade and media in Chicago, in partnership with Choose Chicago.  Plus, Brand USA ran a fam trip on the inaugural flight visiting Chicago and New York. This was exclusively for product managers to help increase new product on this route (NYC being the expected highest connected destination).




Monique Roos, Senior Commercial Specialist of the US Consulate reports that it is forecast in 2019 Australian travel to the U.S. will increase 2% to close to 1.4 million travellers (1.39m). The latest stats are available on this link:




The U.S Embassy & Consulates in Australia has a new Consul General Ms Sharon Hudson-Dean and the VUSA committee extends a very warm welcome.  The Consul General’s bio is available at:




Visit USA Organisation has launched a new look and feel to our website, featuring easier navigation from the home page to all trade tools and information.  The site also features a new event registration platform and redesign of event listings.  Most importantly for our members the site features an enhanced member profile functionality, so please ensure you log on and maintain your most up-to-date details.




Registrations are now open to travel agents for the 2019 Visit USA Expo event series with RSVPs coming in strong.  Our goal is to reach 250 agents in Brisbane, 280 agents in Melbourne and 370 agents in Sydney.


Get creative – Visit USA encourages all members to decorate their trestle table area to entice agents to visit your stand.  The more colourful and interactive you make your event space, the more luring you will be to our agent guests.


MC Announced – Richard Reid is returning as our guest MC for the 2019 expo series and we expect a lot of hype around his return, as Richard has just signed on with Australia’s Network 10 to star in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.  For those unaware this TV show sees celebrities living in the jungle of Africa without all their usual creature comforts and they’re challenged to survive in the elements without them.


Expo Series Airline Sponsors:  Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia will be returning as our official airline sponsors for the third consecutive year.  The sponsorship will see the airline duo providing all major flight prize give-aways at each of the expo series, plus branding across collateral and speaking time on stage.   The Visit USA expo series wouldn’t be as successful as it is without our key sponsors and for this we’re very thankful.


Reminder of key dates and events


Monday 18 February, 2019 – Melbourne Glasshouse

3-4pm Brand USA Industry Update and Event Overview

5-9pm Melbourne Expo


Tuesday 19 February, 2019 – Brisbane Howard Smith Wharves

5-9pm Brisbane Expo


Wednesday 20 February, 2019 – Sydney Hilton Hotel

3-4pm AGM

5-9pm Sydney Expo


Thursday 21 February, 2019 – Brand USA B2B day

All day – International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour


Friday 22 February, 2019 – Visit USA Industry Networking Breakfast

7am – 9am – Doltone House, Hyde Park

For any Members wishing to attend the breakfast and IMM, transport will be provided to the IMM venue as soon as the event is finished.


EXPO PR Update


Visit USA has announced the 2019 Expo week dates and registration details to the travel trade media with many leading trade publications and supporting the news.


ETB Travel News

Travel Daily (pg1+2)

E Global



Advertisements to promote the shows have also been booked with Travel Daily including registration details, and RSVPs are coming in strong with close to 900 agents already registered.  Visit USA has also signed on Karry-On to be exclusive photographers and videographers of the 2019 Expo series.