Visit USA ramps up trade initiatives

Visit USA ramps up trade initiatives

Visit USA Association revealed it plans to use more incentives to encourage agents to complete its online training modules. The association’s Peter Traynor revealed that although 1935 agents had signed up to the programme, only 328 passed at the standard level and 167 were deemed ‘advanced’. “The training takes some commitment and cannot just be done in a lunchbreak, so we are looking at incentivising agents for completion and perhaps accreditation from City and Guilds,” he explained. In addition, the association’s Chief Operating Officer Alan Wardell said that it plans to hold more social events, competitions and fam trips under the training, as well as introduce Visit USA Week 2011. “This would include the usual media marketplace and ball, as well as a trade day, perhaps in the form of a workshop,” he said. Co-Chair Jody Hanson added that between 100-140 agents had signed up for each of the association’s roadshows, which will be held next month. The team will visit Brighton on 29 November, Norwich on 30 November and will be in Newcastle on 1 December. Meanwhile, Visit USA said that summer trade had been ‘good’, with capacity struggling for Florida. This was echoed by ABTA Chairman and Advantage Travel Centre Chief Executive John McEwan, who said the destination had dropped in double digits over the year as families opted for short-haul or domestic breaks. “Advantage bookings are up for the USA and we are planning growth,” he revealed. “The east coast has struggled, particularly New York as rates are high and it is getting expensive. However, rates are coming down on the run up to Christmas.” On the other hand, Las Vegas had become very strong following BA’s daily flight and hoteliers offering more value-for-money. “Multi-centre trends are also up so we see it growing in 2011,” added McEwan.

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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