Industry Newsletter
June 2019

As we close out the fiscal year, I want to thank our partners, members, and everyone across the region who supported our efforts to attract more overseas visitors to the Capital Region.

Whether you joined as an Allied or Affiliate member, participated in a tour operator co-op, hosted a fam tour, or attended IPW, I appreciate the support the travel industry in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC provides.

Next year will bring new opportunities, including our first efforts in South Korea, expanded marketing in India, and new marketing co-ops in our traditional European markets (UK, Germany, and France). 

I’m also excited to welcome new PR representation in the UK—the Brighter Group—and will be introducing them more formally next month. I want to thank our long-standing representative—KBC—for their hard work and dedication to the region. We appreciate all they’ve done to tell the CRUSA story in the UK.

We’re also excited to have Visit Baltimore joining as our newest Allied Member (the others include Annapolis, Arlington, and Frederick), and Visit Fairfax as our newest Affiliate member (others include Alexandria and Richmond). Both are joining July 1. If you’d like more information on our membership opportunities, please let me know or go to

To close, we highlight China in this issue, which continues to be our number one market despite recent headwinds. We are monitoring the current travel warning and communicating with our US and China-based partners to ensure we stay informed on the issue. This week, Brand USA provided a China-market update. A few of the quick takeaways are below and more information can be found at the link provided.

  • In 2018, arrivals were down 5.7% overall; 10.4% for leisure nationally
  • 2019 arrivals are down 3.1% to date, 5.3% for leisure
  • Numbers from China: Narrowing the market focus, China's population is 1.4 billion people, 120 million are passport holders, 24 million long haul trips were taken, and 20 million or 1.5% of the population are long-haul leisure travelers.
  • The US still ranks as the destination people in China would most like to visit
  • Strategy moving forward:
  • Focus on ramping up marketing efforts after trade tension eases
  • Maintain long-term focus
  • Stay the course with messaging
  • Visit Brand USA's FAQ page for more information on the potential impact on travel and tourism between the US and China.

I hope each of you gets a little time to enjoy some summer recreation. Let’s make this next year the best one yet for the Capital Region.

Scott Balyo
Executive Director 
2020 Marketing Opportunities
CRUSA is now accepting reservations for our 2020 Overseas Print/Digital Marketing Campaign. Attract more international visitors by taking advantage of Capital Region USA's powerful marketing outreach. Our Integrated Marketing Program includes advertising opportunities in CRUSA's travel guides, website, and email.

Contact  Carly Stedman Norosky today to reserve your space in our 2020 program.
IPW 2019
Earlier this month, CRUSA attended IPW, US Travel Association's annual international travel trade show, in Anaheim, CA. This year's show was attended by more than 6,000 travel trade professionals representing more than 70 countries. CRUSA representatives took nearly 150 appointments during three days of business meetings. Leads from the show will be shared with CRUSA's partners in an upcoming newsletter. View photos from the event here.
CRUSA at IPW: (from left to right) Stacey Sheetz, Justine Qiu, Emmanuelle Blondin, Scott Balyo, Maria Greiner, Lisa Chamberlain
Spotlight on China
The Latest Research
The most recent data shows that in 2017, 365,000 China residents visited the Capital Region, a 2.1% increase over 2016 visitation. These travelers spent nearly $1.5 billion in the region, visiting 3.4 states on average, and staying an average of 15.6 nights.

Additional insights on the Chinese market are available from the National Travel and Tourism Office and Brand USA.
PR & Media
Cathay Pacific fam in Washington, DC
As of May 2019, PR efforts by BrandStory, CRUSA's China representatives, have generated media coverage with a total circulation of 15,541,100; 461,031,288  impressions; and an ad value of $5.05 million.

This fiscal year, CRUSA has hosted two individual media visits and three group media fams. These fams included a Cathay Pacific Airways media fam in October. The group of six visited Loudoun and Fairfax Counties in Virginia and Washington, DC.

A second Cathay Pacific Airways media fam visited the region March 26-April 2, 2019. The purpose of the seven-day fam was to promote Cathay Pacific's new Hong Kong to Dulles route and to provide the media participants a deeper understanding of the region's travel resources with a focus on culinary, art, and experiencing American history in a unique way. Six journalists participated in the fam and visited locations across DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

A third group media fam also sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways brought six Chinese KOLs to the region. The group visited Washington, DC, Tysons Corner, Alexandria, and Arlington.
Sales & Marketing
China Sales Mission
CRUSA hosted a sales mission to China April 15-19. The sales mission traveled to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing. The team included representatives from Capital Region USA, Visit Baltimore, Visit Virginia Beach, Cathay Pacific, and United Airlines. Five sales appointments and three large-scale training workshops were held. Leads can be obtained by contacting Kimberly Petersen at
Cathay Pacific trade fam at MurLarkey Distilled Spirits in Bristow, VA and the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
Additional Sales Highlights
As of May 2019, the team at BrandStory has conducted 106 sales calls, participated in the Harbin & Shenyang Roadshow with 169 attendees, and hosted two trade fams for 59 China travel trade representatives.

In October, the region hosted a Cathay Pacific Airways trade fam. Ten China trade representatives participated in the fam and visited destinations and attractions across the region. The purpose of the fam was to promote Cathay Pacific's new Hong Kong flight to Dulles and to give the tour attendees an in depth look at the region's travel products. The fam generated new and expanded travel product with several operators, including the creation of FIT product to the region with Meiying and Yiqifei international travel service companies.

A Brand USA China MegaFam also visited the region in October. The fam consisted of 48 travel trade professionals plus escorts. After touring regions across the US, the group traveled to the Capital Region. Once in the region, the group spent two nights in hotels across DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The group converged in DC for a lunch, city tour, and a closing night gala at District Winery.
Capital Region Awarded "Best Kids-Friendly Travel Destination"
Capital Region USA won the "Best Kids-Friendly Travel Destination" by National Tourism, the leading travel trade magazine in China, with a readership of 50,000 travel professionals and business leaders. Winners are selected based on travel professionals evaluation and media research data including airlines, travel agencies, cruises, tourist bureaus, and attractions.
Allied Partners
 Copyright 2019 by Capital Region USA, P.O. Box 13352, Richmond, VA 23225 USA