Washington DC, Boston and Philadelphia will combine for a major promotion in New Zealand and Australia early August. The East Coast USA roadshow will begin in Auckland on 8 August with a morning media marketplace, followed by a VIP lunch session for trade, tour operators, media and airline representatives. The day will culminate with a full travel agent evening event. All of the functions will be at Four Points by Sheraton Auckland, with Marriott confirmed as one of the key partners in the activity.
Event director for East Coast USA, Corey Marshall of Canuckiwi, says that CEOs from the destinations’ tourism bodies will lead the delegation – Elliott Ferguson (Washington DC), Martha Sheridan (Boston) and Gregg Caren (Philadelphia) – along with members of their teams, operators and other partners. While an East Coast roadshow to ANZ is not new, this is the first time the three cities have collaborated in such a way here.
Theresa Belpulsi, senior VP of tourism for Destination DC says Australia and New Zealand are among the city’s top markets and important as they have a longer length of stay than any other international market. ‘It’s an ideal time to welcome them back, especially with the new direct services to New York. Those open up the entire East Coast so that is a big driver for us to come over. ‘All three cities have a lot of new product and content to share. They are well connected so it is easy to visit them all in one trip.’
Philadelphia is also keen to take a piece of the Big Apple’s antipodean pie as direct capacity increases. ‘Philadelphia is the most important historical city in the US,’ says Robin Bloom, director of content at Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. ‘It’s where the US Declaration of Independence was signed and where the constitution was written.’ Stacy Thornton, director of leisure sales with Meet Boston, says it is appropriate that the three historic and iconic capital cities join forces for the roadshow. ‘We will also be joined by Discover Newport, Rhode Island, which is about an hour to 90 minutes drive from Boston.’ Marshall says the roadshow is about supporting the trade and ensuring agents are educated about what is on offer. ‘The end goal is to fill the planes.’