International interest in visiting the US equals potential to strengthen American economy

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WASHINGTON, DC – As the American economy struggles, international interest in visiting the United States is highlighting a potential economic boon, according to the Travel Industry Association (TIA). One key indicator of this interest is TIA’s newly-launched DiscoverAmerica.com, the nation’s official travel and tourism website, which logged one million minutes of research by travelers worldwide and more than 1.1 million page views in its first three months of operation.

“Welcoming more international visitors – who spend as much as $4,000 per traveler, per visit – is critical to strengthening the American economy,” said Roger J. Dow, president and CEO of the Travel Industry Association. “DiscoverAmerica.com’s early success points to its usefulness and demonstrates that there is an appetite for visiting the United States. It’s time for our country to take advantage of this opportunity.”

The website – actually six sites tailored for English- and French-speaking Canada, Mexico, the UK, Japan, and Germany – includes rich content on dozens of popular US cities, all 50 states, and five US territories, hundreds of attractions, activities and restaurants, and booking options. in addition to official entry information and an online travel community.

DiscoverAmerica.com’s Japanese-language site has garnered the highest use (36 percent), followed by the German site (21 percent), the Canadian sites (16 percent), the UK site (14 percent) and the Mexican site (13 percent).

DiscoverAmerica.com was launched in target countries between May and July 2008 following its development as a result of a cooperative agreement between the US Department of Commerce and the Travel Industry Association. Launch markets are the five nations that generate roughly 75 percent of all inbound travel to the United States.

The Travel Industry Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $740 billion travel industry. TIA’s mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States. TIA is proud to be a partner in travel with American Express. For more information, visit www.tia.org and for key travel facts and figures, visit www.poweroftravel.com .