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New Brand USA Web site lets inbound travelers customize trips (sort of)

29 December 2016 (Edited 29 December 2016)

Brand USA - America's national, private, non-profit DMO, created by the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 - has launched (in beta) a new/improved version of VisitTheUSA.com, its Web site targeting international tourism markets.

The new site exists in 15 versions in 8 languages, each version targeting a specific international market: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden, and the UK.

Per Brand USA, the newest site updates include:

  • Improved content integration with photos and videos
  • Expanded and updated driving itineraries
  • Interactive "Choose Your Adventure" game that suggests trips on the basis of the user's responses to a series of A/B choice questions.

I found and interacted with the "Choose Your Adventure" game - it's almost at the bottom of the (long) home page of VisitTheUSA.com. The first 4 "adventures" it recommended for me were: Chicago attractions, a traditional fiesta in Guam, shopping/dining in Savannah GA, and historic sites of Savannah GA. Those are interesting suggestions, and I'm sure fine destinations, but they seem to have been chosen at random. And the way the "game' has been set up is responsble for that.

Notes to Brand USA:

  1. The home page of VisitTheUSA.com offers the user too many choices of both navigation and "Destinations/Trips/Experiences" (things that I don't believe most people would consider to be mutually exclusive, so not the best top-level nav categories).
  2. The "Choose Your Adventure" A/B choices attempt to cover too many dissimilar dimensions of travel, so that the underlying algorithm has to work with data that are disconnected if not contradictory. Perhaps need some basic filters before getting down to the A/B choices

Anyone in the DMO business, and all Americans in the tourism business, should take a look at VisitTheUSA.com and try out the game.

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David Boggs    - David
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