Route 66 News

Brand USA now focusing on Route 66 tourism in Missouri

A recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirms what we’d suspected — that Brand USA next would be concentrating on promoting Route 66 in Missouri.

We’d noted a few weeks ago that Brand USA, aka, had posted high-quality YouTube videos promoting parts of Route 66 in Illinois for potential British, Japanese and German tourists.

Now the Post-Dispatch says camera crews are shooting Route 66 sites in St. Louis, along with the Missouri Route 66 towns of Carthage and Springfield, in an effort to lure foreign travelers.

That effort focuses on the Big Three — Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom — that produce the most foreign tourism in St. Louis. About 87,000 travelers from those countries visited the area in 2013, according to the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, which helped pay for the two-minute videos that make up the new promotion.

Part of the effort is to get more foreign tourists to linger in St. Louis while following old Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. Such trips already are popular with German and British visitors, said Brian Hall, the CVC’s chief marketing director.

Though the number of foreign tourists is a speck within the area’s visitor business (21.6 million annual visitors who spent $4.2 billion last year), tourists from outside the United States are cash-heavy, dropping about $4,000 per trip, Hall said. […]

A woman from Toronto, who lives now in Los Angeles, is the host of the St. Louis video meant for Canadians. A woman from East Sussex, England, who lives in Richmond, Va., hosts the video for the United Kingdom, while a Mexico City native hosts the Spanish-language video for the Mexican audience even though she, too, lives in LA. […]

Foreign viewers will see the speakers highlight St. Louis’ blues heritage while at the Broadway Oyster Bar downtown; show off the scene on Cherokee Street; point out places linked to Route 66; visit St. Charles and; of course, gaze at the Arch.

KTVI-TV in St. Louis also was on the scene during the production. You’ll have to go to the link to see it, because the station’s videos don’t embed well.

Discover America is public-private corporation that encourages travel in the United States. Its efforts to market Route 66 have become noticeably more aggressive in recent months.

(Image of Ted Drewes Frozen Custard on Route 66 in St. Louis by Philip Leara via Flickr)


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