This region is expected to produce a 44 percent increase in visitors to the U.S. by 2019. Below are target markets for the Wyoming Office of Tourism in the Asia region.
Wyoming has had representation in the Japan market since 1989 through Fieldstar International. This market is considered a Mature Market due to the strong relationship already established. The majority of Japanese travelers tend to be Foreign Independent Travelers (F.I.T.) or Fly Drive travelers. While the Japan market has historically been a strong market to the U.S., current trends are showing a slow decrease to leveling out of visitation by 2020. While trends indicate less travelers to the U.S., Wyoming will continue to build on the market through new promotions of winter tours and new destination itineraries. These programs will be promoted through Sales Missions, FAMS and travel trade shows.
China is considered as an Opportunity Market for Wyoming. Due to the changes in the U.S. – China Visa program in 2007 and 2014, Chinese travelers can obtain a Visa more easily and hold their Visa for up to 10 years. This has made a significant impact on the number of visitors from China to the United States in recent years, increasing numbers by nearly 700 percent. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce - National Travel and Tourism Office, there will be approximately 5 million Chinese visitors to the U.S. by 2018 and they will continue to outpace other countries to become the number one source market by 2020. Not only will we see more Chinese travelers than any other market, but Chinese travelers will spend nearly $7,000 per visitor per trip to the U.S.
The addition of the new Visa program between China and the U.S. has brought some significant changes in Chinese travel trends. Historically the Chinese traveler preferred to travel by motorcoach in large groups, however the “second-generation” of Chinese travelers are wanting to capture unique experiences and prefer to travel by Fly Drive or F.I.T. These new travelers are young, wealthy, and more importantly, they are among the most social media savvy travelers. They expect high-end vacations, but want to have unique experiences outside of a group so that they may share photos and experiences on their social media platforms. In fact, it is projected that of the Chinese people who are able to access internet, 91% of them have a social media account, compared to just 67% of U.S. internet users.
WOT will continue to develop the Chinese market by focusing on marketing to the most appropriate travelers. Outreach will include in-language guides and website, creation of product inventory for tour operators to use, Sales Missions, travel trade shows and consideration of future representation.
Taiwan is another country which Wyoming considers as a Growth Market. WOT actively participates in ITF, which is the most popular travel fair in the Asia-Pacific region hosted by the Taiwan Visitors Association. During this trade show and throughout the year, WOT has minor representation with an in-market representative in Taipei. WOT also conducts Familiarization Tours with major tour operators interested in selling the Wyoming Product to Taiwanese.
The South Korean market is considered a Potential Market for Wyoming and is being monitored due to their projected number of visitors to the U.S., their economy and interest levels, and various opportunities to market at travel trade shows. South Korea maintained its rank in 2014 as the seventh-largest overseas inbound traveler market to the U.S. with 1.5 million visitors. This number is projected to grow in the next few years. WOT currently reaches this market through trades shows such as, Go West Summit, IPW, with Familiarization Tours and through the Brand USA consumer website.
India is also considered a Potential Market for Wyoming. This classification is due to the expected growth in travel to the U.S. through 2020 as well as their high travel spending. In 2014, the average Indian visitors to the U.S. spent $6,430, ranking them the 5th highest spenders of all in-bound travelers. The majority of outreach in this country is through the internet and travel trade show marketing. Further marketing will remain at a reduced level through travel trade shows in country and through the travel trade industry. WOT will continue to follow India’s travel trends to determine if further marketing is necessary.
For more information on the Asia Market or for information on promotional opportunities, contact Jenny McCullough, Asia Market Development Manager.