Although the U.S. economy is struggling, international interest in visiting the United States remains high, according to the Travel Industry Association (TIA), which says international tourism is critical to the country's financial health. As proof, it cites visitor traffic to DiscoverAmerica.com, a new destination marketing Web site that was launched this summer in five countries to promote travel to the United States. The site, which is the country's official travel and tourism Web site, logged 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," TIA President and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement. "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."
DiscoverAmerica.com was launched by TIA and the U.S. Department of Commerce in six versions—for English- and French-speaking Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany—between May and July 2008. It features rich media content on dozens of U.S. cities, all 50 states and five U.S. territories, not to mention hundreds of activities, attractions and restaurants.
So far, DiscoverAmerica.com's Japanese-language site has been the most popular, according to TIA, accounting for 36 percent of total DiscoverAmerica.com traffic. The German site accounted for 21 percent, the Canadian sites 16 percent, the U.K. site 14 percent and the Mexican site 13 percent.