Monday, November 26, 2001

.President Bush is encouraging people to travel and see America in a new television commercial supporting the U.S. travel and tourism industry.

The ad, which began running Nov. 21, is part of an estimated $20 million domestic and international advertising campaign to get people traveling again.

The travel and tourism industry is one of the hardest hit after the September 11 terrorist attacks as more people are staying closer to home and remain apprehensive about flying.

As a result, domestic travel spending in the United States is expected to decrease by $33.7 billion in 2001 a drop of 7 percent over 2000, according to the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), which is spearheading the advertising campaign.

In the fourth quarter of 2001, TIA is expecting a 12 percent drop in business travel and a 9 percent decline in leisure travel compared to the same period last year.

President Bush appears twice in the 30-second spot via taped segments from previous speeches encouraging people to begin traveling again and get back to normal lives in the wake of the terrorist attacks. The ad also features an array of industry workers from hotel concierges and waiters to airline pilots and flight attendants welcoming Americans back.

TIA is receiving voluntary contributions from every segment of the U.S. tourism and travel industry to help fund the campaign. So far $12.4 million has been raised. That money is being spent on the placement of the commercial over the next four weeks on network and cable stations nationwide, as well as internationally.

TIA officials hope to raise about $8 million more to buy more media placement for the ad to run longer.

This isn’t the first time a Bush family member has appeared in a travel-related commercial. After the Persian Gulf war in 1991 former President George Bush was featured in a commercial that invited British travelers to visit the United States.

D.C. goes Hollywood

Another president is participating in a commercial to encourage people to travel to Washington.

Actor Martin Sheen, who plays the fictional President Bartlet on NBC’s the West Wing, is one of several cast members giving personal testaments to the District’s charm.

Mr. Sheen and cast mate Rob Lowe taped their portion of the ad from the show’s California set, while other cast members, along with Mayor Anthony A. Williams, filmed a portion of the 30-second spot at Washington’s Market Square on Nov. 18.

The ad, designed to lure more visitors to the nation’s capital, is part of the Washington D.C. Convention and Tourism Corp.’s “Be Inspired” marketing campaign.

WCTC officials expect the PSA to begin running nationally in mid-December.

New wins

• MGH, based in Baltimore, has added five new accounts to its client list. They include Susquehanna Technologies Inc. in Winchester, Va., Unitec Distribution Systems in Westminster, Md., Graul’s Market in Baltimore, First Night Annapolis and the Mt. Vernon Cultural District in Baltimore City.

• O’Keeffe & Co. Inc. of McLean will provide corporate public relations services for Knowledge Consulting Group, an information technology consulting firm headquartered in Sterling.

• Stanton Communications Inc., based in Washington, has been hired by W.L. Gore & Associates Inc., the Delaware-based corporation best known for its GORE-TEX brands.

• Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884 Advertising & Marketing runs every other week.

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