Brand USA invites agents to have a MEGA time

Brand USA invites agents to have a MEGA time

Brand USA, the destination marketing body for the U.S., is encouraging UK and Irish agents to qualify to participate in its MegaFam in the spring.  

The event, being run in partnership with American Airlines and British Airways, will build upon the successful pan-European inaugural event held last November.  

Sixty UK and Irish sales agents will be invited on a week-long trip that kicks off on April 19. It will feature six simultaneous itineraries across the U.S.  

To put their name in the frame for the MEGA Fam agents must log their bookings made with American Airlines and British Airways from January 16 to February 28 2023.  

They must also complete the MEGA Fam Airlines Badge on the USA Discovery Program U.K. and Ireland website.  

The MEGA Fam will follow the format of last year’s event which saw agents from nine key markets – UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy – discover six different regions of the U.S.  

Last year, UK agents visited Portland and Seattle, as well as New Orleans and Austin experiencing new hotels, attractions, and activities. 

The MEGA Fam culminated in a joint grand finale in Fort Worth, Texas, where agents enjoyed guided walking tours and experienced a night at legendary venue Billy Bob’s, a huge country music ‘Honky Tonk’ with dozens of bars and even a live bull-riding arena.   

Jackie Ennis, vice president, global markets for Brand USA says the Mega FAMs allow agents to really get under the skin of a destination and to better sell the U.S.   

“By working closely with our airline and destination partners, it is a valuable tool in driving recovery efforts across our leading international markets,” she said.   

“We look forward to continuing this initiative globally and welcoming the next participants in our Brand USA Mega Fam U.K. and Ireland in April 2023.”  

One agent whose U.S. knowledge expanded after being on the 2022 MEGA Fam is Jack Allen, a reservations consultant at Gold Medal.  

He said: “The Brand USA Mega Fam is such an amazing way to get a real, first-hand understanding of different destinations across the U.S. From exploring the great outdoors to the foodie scene, travelling the U.S. is the best way to get insider tips and local knowledge.   

“Whether it was eating my way around the Farmers Market in Seattle or seeing real-life cowboys in Fort Worth, it was a great opportunity to research and plan itineraries for potential customers.”    

Gillian Wickers, head of U.K. leisure sales for British Airways, said: “We serve 27 destinations in the U.S. alone, so we know how fantastically diverse it is with so much to offer every traveller.   

“There’s no better way for agents to get to know a destination than experiencing it first-hand, so we were delighted to see the return of the Brand USA Mega FAM which we know drives genuine enthusiasm for one of our most important markets.”  

Denise Forbes, American Airlines head of leisure specialty and mid-market sales, U.K. & Ireland added: “After the pandemic, showcasing the U.S. as a key travel destination is key for us, as we help travel agents and travellers alike discover new adventures.   

“Brand USA is the ideal partner for us to do this, as we are able to tap-into their expert knowledge to best highlight everything the destination has to offer, and how we can best promote it.”  

Details of the states to be included on this year’s MEGA Fam will be announced over the coming weeks. 

For those who are not already a member, agents will need to complete the regional badges first. 

usadiscoveryprogram.co.uk/megafam-airlines-2023

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