Why the chief of U.S. tourism likes to show off Nashville

Published on : Saturday, August 20, 2016

Brand USAWhen facing the future of American tourism, Nashville has two significant advantages: its music will always attract visitors, and it’s relatively cheap. The combination of these factors compelled Chris Thompson, a man in charge of the country’s tourism efforts, to call the city “ideally positioned” for the future.



Thompson is CEO of Brand USA, a national public-private partnership chartered to attract international tourists to America. In an interview Thursday, he talked about Nashville’s promising future and the challenges ahead of it as one of the country’s 50 top tourism destinations.



Thompson said the city’s toughest challenge is its lack of international flights. When Brand USA brought a group of travel agents from Australia and New Zealand to Nashville and Memphis in May, the group had to fly through Houston.



Despite the inconvenience, there are plenty of reasons the organization likes to show off Nashville to international travelers.



Thompson said the city’s most important assets are the “authentic stories it has to tell, which are resonating more and more internationally.” These stories have long been told in the music the city produces, he said. These songs have drawn international visitors to Nashville long before concerted marketing efforts began, and they are perhaps still the city’s best marketing tool.



Another draw to the city, Thompson said, is its comparative affordability. With the dollar becoming stronger, Thompson said travelers are increasingly looking for cheaper U.S. cities to visit.



“Most people in the world consider travel a birthright,” Thompson said. “They’re not going to not travel; they will just change their travel behavior.”



For Nashville to continue to build its successful tourism industry, Thompson said it must capitalize on Chinese visitors, whom he said will soon eclipse visitors from the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.



Source:- Brand USA

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