Blueprint Creative Group

U.S. Number Two in World Tourism Rankings Behind France, Brand USA Hopes to Help

We love infographics and found a pretty neat one highlighting world tourism rankings (compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization). This infographic takes a global total of 940 million tourists from countries around the world and makes a side by side comparison of the top ten international tourism destinations in 2010. Included are most popular tourist destinations, rankings, and arrivals from the United States.

Guess who’s our country’s biggest tourism competitor? France…that’s right.

For the past 3 years, the U.S. has held the #2 position in world tourism with France topping off the list beating out the U.S. with 16 to 22 million more visitors each year. Of course within the Americas, the U.S. holds the #1 position followed by Mexico then Canada.

China and Spain has been in competition for the #3 spot over the past years with China finally winning the #3 spot in 2010 and Spain holding it in 2009 and 2008.

Within the U.S., the most popular tourist attractions were: the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Manhattan, and the Golden Gate Bridge. What happened to Disney World being among our country’s top attractions?

Since we’re a country that proudly touts our global power, naturally my first thought was to figure out how the U.S. could finally top France to takeover and dominate the #1 position in world tourism rankings. Understanding what the top countries are that drive tourism for both the U.S. and France would be the first step in understanding our current positioning to the world. An analysis of France’s top attractions compared to the U.S. would also help in our positioning strategy. Within the U.S., attractions other than the top four should also seek to heighten their visibility so as to give a national boost to our tourism rankings.

Interestingly, Jim Evans, CEO of Brand USA, recently provided an example before the House Subcommittee of the creative elements and messaging featured in the United States’ first global marketing campaign created to inspire international travelers to “Discover this land, like never before.” According to Evans, the United States was the only industrialized nation that did not actively promote itself to international visitors, and Brand USA is the first initiative of its kind.

As a component to the country’s first international marketing campaign, “Land of Dreams,” was released as the video anthem. The video does a good job of playing on scenic views of the country’s top attractions and also highlighting the world’s global cultures. However, while the lyrics are pretty sound, I’m not sure if the song itself or the concept of the video is inspiring enough to capture the attention of global visitors so that they choose the U.S. over other countries. Perhaps, the video should’ve been more fun and exciting to show our country’s cool factor since that’s what people love about the U.S. anyway, right?

We’ll just have to wait for the 2012 world tourism rankings to see if Brand USA and this “Land of Dreams” video was any help.


*Credits: Katie Damato, Graphic Designer