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January 25, 2008



You are raising an important issue here. America's image probably has never been worse abroad and this is a UK paper, just imagine what other more critical voices than the Brits are saying!

My take is that as along as the power structure of the U.S. incoming industry at the official level is the way it is nothing will really improve.

I've been following this subject since my arrival here nearly 15 years ago and am amazed at how little has changed. Every year there is a so called tourism summit in D.C. with all the big wigs in attendance and great pronouncements being made about how this time a new and improved effort to market the U.S. abroad will be made and then nothing happens!

If anything happens, it's a new working group with some former insiders who now make their money by advising the people they used to work for, so what's going to change - nothing. There is still no national DMO and the old structures are still in place.

If this country didn't have major corporations like Disney, Universal, Marriott, Hilton, Hertz etc. who spend tons of money promoting their products,no marketing money that would make any dent abroad would be spent at all.

The same can be said for the online presence of the U.S. or rather lack thereof. For the past two years, I understand a project has been in the works to build a national site. So far nothing has materialized.

I guess the prevailing opinion is that with the weak dollar they will come anyway, despite a negative image and lousy reception at the border!

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