NOW...MORE DEALS OF THE DAY
As you hopefully have noticed in the past, I've been offering a daily deal of the day. But the Toronto Star is now in partnership with a great website - www.travelalerts.ca - so I'll now be featuring more deals every day, not just one.
I've got three today; New York, Acapulco and a general advisory on the WestJet half-off sale, which expires IN JUST A COUPLE DAYS.
So check them out. And look for more in future blogs.
USA SLOW TO REBOUND
American tourism types are happy that the US was ranked number one in the latest Country Brand Index rating, released by FutureBrand, in conjunction with Weber Shandwick's Global Travel & Lifestyle Practice. The index revealed that the United States is the world's top country brand for the first time in the fifth annual CBI, rising from the third spot in 2008.
"Perceptions of the United States are on the rise - a tribute to President Obama and the people of this great country," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "But if interest in the United States is growing, then policymakers should ask themselves why it is not resulting in greater overseas travel to our country. According to the Department of Commerce, August was the 10th straight month in which international travel spending in the United States declined. And 2009 will be the eighth straight year in which overseas arrivals fell short of pre-9/11 visitors to our country.
"According to the Country Brand Index report, the United States ranks #1 in brand image but remains in the bottom half of countries for 'ease of travel' to and within the country. It's past time for our country to make welcoming visitors a priority. These visitors are key to our diplomacy and economy. It's time for a fair and effective visa system that limits wait times and arbitrary refusals. It's time for an entry process that is the envy of the world in its use of technology and efficient screening. And it's time to welcome people to our shores by passing the Travel Promotion Act and promoting America as a premier travel destination."