Industry Update

On Sept. 27, the board of directors of Brand USA announced the appointment of Christopher L. Thompson to president and CEO of Brand USA, the public private partnership responsible for spearheading the United States’ first nationally coordinated tourism marketing effort.

Prior to Brand USA, Thompson led the state of Florida’s destination marketing efforts as president and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, one of the nation’s most successful destination marketing organizations.  He will succeed Caroline Beteta, who has been interim president of the organization since June 21, 2012, in addition to her role as president and CEO of Visit California and her role on the Brand USA board of directors.

In his role as president and CEO of Brand USA, Thompson will be responsible for accelerating the organization’s efforts on building and executing effective marketing strategies to increase inbound travel to the United States, resulting in increased U.S. exports and increased employment. These programs consist of marketing, public relations, and partnership programs critical to the overall marketing of the United States as the world’s premier travel destination, as well as communications programs to provide travelers with vital information that inspires and makes it easier to explore the vast range of experiences and destinations available in the U.S.A.

Thompson was one of the industry leaders who helped lead the effort to gain support for the passage of the Travel Promotion Act, which was signed into law in March 2010.  He subsequently became a key member of the task force charged with guiding the launch of the Corporation for Travel Promotion created by the Act (and which today does business as Brand USA).