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Published on : Friday, May 12, 2017
After a drop in travel since Trump took office in January, Brand USA is launching a digital marketing campaign in Mexico this month with the slogan “Planifica tu viaje a USA ahora” – which means, plan your trip to the U.S. now. The goal is to convince Mexicans that Trump’s vow to build a wall along the southern border, ban travelers from some countries and tighten visa screenings shouldn’t stop them from visiting the U.S.
According to Chris Thompson, chief executive officer of the Washington-based group, “Nothing has changed about how our friends and visitors from Mexico plan their trip to the U.S. and how they enter the country. We’re really working on separating the perception versus the reality. There’s been a lot of conversation, but nothing legally has changed.”
The Mexicans are the second-largest group of visitors to the U.S. after Canadians, and in 2015 alone they spent almost $20 billion. It’s not that Mexicans aren’t travelling; they might be travelling to Canada instead. Airports in Miami, Orlando, San Antonio and Denver recorded fewer visitors coming from Mexico City and Guadalajara in the first two months of 2017; on the contrary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver saw a surge in traffic from Mexico’s capital.
Some of Brand USA’s board members include Marriott International Inc. CEO Arne M. Sorenson; Kyle Edmiston, Louisiana’s tourism director; and Rossi Ralenkotter, president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The Brand USA marketing campaign could be welcome news for Mexican airlines, which had a tough first quarter.
“Mexico is a hugely important market to the U.S.,” Thompson said. “Nothing about what makes the U.S. a compelling place to visit has changed.”