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Visit USA (Australia) Hosts Virtual Annual Mid-Year Review

The Visit USA Organisation (Australia) came together for an insight-packed Mid-Year Review which included the US Consul General and travel industry stalwarts including Karryon founder Matt Leedham.

The Visit USA Organisation (Australia) came together for an insight-packed Mid-Year Review which included the US Consul General and travel industry stalwarts including Karryon founder Matt Leedham.

Yesterday, over 60 members of the Visit USA Organisation (Australia) came together virtually, for their annual Mid-Year Review.

As the event this year was virtual, it meant that for the first time, the Organisation’s US-based members were able to join the event and gain a better understanding of the changing status of the Australian travel industry and landscape.

Over an hour-plus long session, members listened in as a host of travel industry stalwarts and experts came together to share insights, best practices and an overall industry & sentiment update. 

Visit USA Expo
Richard Reid and Lucy Rowe (President, Visit USA Organisation – Australia)

“Traditionally, the event is a discussion of travel statistics and key trends, and although the discussions this year looked very different, it was an opportunity to provide an in-depth look at the Australian travel industry, agent and consumer sentiments as well as best practice idea-sharing for a strong return to travel, when the time comes”

Lucy Rowe, President of Visit USA Organisation (Australia)

The US Consul General for Sydney and Queensland, Sharon Hudson-Dean welcomed the attendees and reinforced the critical roles that the travel industry will play in rebuilding our nations, “Together, the US and Australia will be critical partners in coming through this pandemic and building our economies back up again. The travel industry is central to that, and I firmly believe we can get back to the level of enthusiasm, interest and bookings that we saw at the Visit USA Expos earlier this year.”

Jacqui Walshe, Managing Director of The Walshe Group, and member of the Tourism Restart Taskforce, also shared an update with the members, “Our role is to create certainty for businesses, where we can. We created an aspirational timetable for tourism reopening which enabled us to put, and keep, pressure on the government so that we could ensure that there were reasonable steps being taken to reopen borders – both state, and international, as soon as it’s possible to do so.”

The Mid-Year Review also included a panel, hosted by Damian Francis, Head of Content at Mumbrella, featuring travel industry stalwarts Matt Leedham, Founder of KarryOn, Carolyn Childs, the Strategist, Futurist and Co-Founder of MyTravelResearch.com and Bruce Piper, Editor in Chief of Travel Daily.

The panel shared their insights on the significance of the pandemic, and the strong history the industry has in bouncing back. The panel also discussed the short term and longer-term impacts to the travel agent community and what the new way of working may look like, as well as the value propositions consumers will be looking for.

The event also included a best practice session, hosted by Visit USA Members Corey Marshall of Canuckiwi and Chris Ingram of Memphis Tourism who shared best practices and learnings with the attendees, with a focus on better understanding the industry’s needs at the moment, and how to engage under the circumstances.

Watch the Mid-Year Review in full

Find out more visitusa.org.au