Press Release

Gillibrand: Brand USA to Promote Greater Niagara Region as International Travel Destination

May 13, 2013

Youngstown, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, joined by Brand USA CEO Christopher Thompson, Department of Commerce Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt, and Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Douglas Smith, today announced that Brand USA will promote the Greater Niagara Region as an international travel destination, featuring the region as a “Trip Idea” on the New York State page of Brand USA’s Discover America website.

The effort will feature Greater Niagara as a front-and-center part of a powerful consumer campaign in markets that generate nearly 50 million international travelers to the United States—spending nearly $80 billion and representing more than 75% of all inbound travel to the USA. Travel from the 40 countries with a Brand USA presence makes up 93 percent of inbound traffic to the United States.

“The Greater Niagara Region is a do-not-miss for international travelers coming to the U.S.,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the President’s Export Council. “This new attention by Brand USA will only enhance the work we’ve done as a community to make Niagara an international travel destination. Niagara County is a family friendly destination with iconic natural and cultural landmarks that people of all ages can enjoy.  An increase in international visitors to Niagara would increase our export growth, facilitating job creation in the region.”

“Niagara USA is a dream destination for guests from around the world. Brand USA highlighting our assets is going to strengthen our tourism industry and make it more of an economic driver for the region,” said John Percy, president & CEO, Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation (NTCC). “By partnering with Brand USA and thanks to Senator Gillibrand’s efforts, this initiative will increase our visibility in front of a global audience and attract additional visitors, and therefore more overnight guests and business for our area stakeholders.”


“The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area is excited for the opportunity to partner with Brand USA to promote the remarkable natural, historic and cultural resources of the Niagara region.” said Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Project Manager Sara Capen.  “Brand USA is a tremendous leader in promoting heritage tourism across the United States to visitors worldwide.  This partnership will raise the visibility of our region being an iconic destination, rich in history and heritage throughout the Niagara region making it attractive for visitors to spend multiple days.”

The Niagara Region ranks in the top 20 destinations for overseas travelers, making tourism and the service-export industry serves as the area’s principal economic engine.  Last year, visitors spent approximately $491 million on travel expenses in Niagara County. Brand USA would help increase the Niagara Region’s international visibility, increasing tourism and spurring economic growth.


The Brand USA campaign for the Greater Niagara Region will include working directly with local tourism and economic development officials on cooperative marketing, with potential opportunities like highlighting the region’s many attractions at international tradeshows in such countries as France, Japan, Singapore, Italy, Brazil, United Kingdom and others, direct marketing through the Brand USA representative offices in 18 international regions covering over 40 countries, and TV, print and social media campaigns.

Brand USA has also committed to featuring a “Trip Idea” page on their Discover America website that is dedicated to the Niagara Region, working with local officials on selecting several premier destinations throughout the area to highlight, which could include places like Goat Island State Park, Old Fort Niagara, the Niagara Wine Trail, the world-renowned architecture just a drive up river in Buffalo, and some of the best fishing in the Great Lakes, among many other sites. Brand USA will work with the region’s stakeholders to determine what attractions will be highlighted on the page, as well as to explore the other direct services Brand USA has to offer to highlight this Trip Idea, including cooperative marketing and social media efforts.


In addition to the Brand USA commitment, Senator Gillibrand has brought to the table the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security to work in close partnership with local leaders in the Greater Niagara Region to ensure all federal resources and support are made available to increase international travel to the area.


Brand USA is a federally-funded, public-private, not for profit organization created by the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 as the nation’s first international marketing effort for travel and tourism. The mission of Brand USA is to generate increased international visitation to the United States and to grow its share of the global travel market through marketing campaigns and programs as well as partnerships with the travel industry.


The Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security are central to the Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy, which aims to attract 100 million international visitors per year to U.S. tourism destinations like the Niagara region.


International tourism is the United States’ largest services export.  In March 2013, international travelers’ purchases in the United States totaled $14.4 billion, an increase of almost three percent from the previous year. Tourism industries support nearly eight million American jobs.  Increased international visibility would encourage tourism, strengthen businesses and support job creation.