Have you seen the new “Flavors of the USA” website? It’s pretty slick. And its No. 1 goal is to help get more butts in your seats.
The Flavors of the USA site was launched in May by Brand USA, the government-backed destination marketing organization that is out to boost international tourism to the U.S. The group started as the Corporation for Travel Promotion after passage of the Travel Promotion Act in 2009, and was later renamed Brand USA.
Brand USA is financed by a combination of public and private funds. Private sector funding comes from contributions, while matching public funds are sourced by a fee collected from foreign visitors.
Brand USA is turning its attention from the nation’s hotel offerings to tout its restaurant and food scene. In conjunction with the website rollout, Brand USA has launched a culinary tourism strategy backed by a partnership with the James Beard Foundation.
They’re calling the Flavors of the USA website, found at flavors.discoveramerica.com, a “culinary content hub,” and it really does showcase some amazing things happening in this country’s culinary scene today. It hits all 50 states, so you’re sure to be represented thoroughly, although we're expecting coastal cities and international hubs to see the biggest and earliest boosts.
The goal is to provide international travelers easy access to culinary-inspired U.S. travel itineraries, a calendar of U.S. food festivals, events, and wine and beer trail details, etc. There site provides recipes reflecting regional cuisine from top chefs and tips on dining etiquette, much of it provided by the James Beard Foundation, including videos from restaurants that have received the James Beard America's Classics Award.
"Culinary tourism is a way for international visitors to experience the diversity of America through our cuisine," says Brand USA President Christopher Thompson. "By promoting exceptional gastronomic offerings, we hope to inspire travelers from around the world to visit and experience the USA, one dish at a time."
In addition to the site, Brand USA has also developed a guidebook filled with recipes by well-known chefs and partnerships with Food Network International and The Travel Channel International to serve vignettes of notable American chefs showcasing the cuisine of the region they work in. The vignettes will air in 98 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa during July.