The 2015 MegaFam will visit 22 states, 12 of which have not previously been included in the MegaFam itineraries. The brand new itineraries developed specifically for 2015 are:
- California – Arizona
- Utah – Wyoming – Idaho
- Missouri – Kansas – Oklahoma
- Louisiana – Mississippi – Alabama
- Tennessee – Kentucky
- Illinois – Indiana – Ohio – Michigan
- Massachusetts – Rhode Island – Connecticut – New York
After exploring one of the seven itineraries, agents will fly to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the grand finale. Here the agents will share their variety of experiences with the goal of educating other agents and enabling them to better sell the destinations upon return.
Agents can win a place on the MegaFam by booking American Airlines and British Airways flights to the United States. To qualify, agents will also be required to earn specialist badges on the agent-training site, www.USADiscoveryProgram.co.uk. Details of how agents can qualify to win a place on the 2015 MegaFam will be released by the end of the year, as will the exact dates.
Previous Brand USA MegaFams were held in May 2013 and May 2014. Participants included100 travel agents from a range of UK and Ireland operators. The agents experienced multiple destinations across the United States of America, before culminating in a grand finale show-and-tell event.
In 2014, agents vying to win a place on the MegaFam booked over 12,000 flights to and within the USA, up from the previous year’s 5,500 flights, significantly increasing the number of international tourists planning holidays to the United States.
Alfredo Gonzalez, SVP Global Market Development Brand USA, said “The Brand USA MegaFam is becoming a sought-after event in the agents’ calendar and we are delighted to be able to, once again, work with our valued partners at American Airlines and British Airways in developing
another exciting set of routes. By working closely with destination partners we aim to showcase the very best each destination has to offer. Our goal is to supply travel agents with the knowledge and assurance they need in order to sell more of the USA as a holiday destination, and to ensure the United States is kept top of mind – with both agents and their customers.”
Chris Rankin, British Airways, Head of Consumer Sales UK&I, said: “We’ve had a very successful two year partnership with Brand USA, which has really helped to increase awareness of the U.S. with agents. Their support for this initiative has been key to its success and a tremendous help in growing sales on our North America network. With over 45 flights a day to the USA with British Airways alone, we’re proud to be working once again with American Airlines to continue this sales drive and make the 2015 MegaFam an even bigger incentive than last years.”
David Thomas, Sales Director UK & Ireland, American Airlines, remarked “We continue to support the Brand USA MegaFam having enjoyed great feedback for the previous two MegaFams. Following our merger with US Airways in December 2013 we now have up to 66 flights per week from Europe, including up to 27 per week from the UK and Ireland to the U.S. Philadelphia is now one of our biggest hubs and most important markets so it is great to host the finale there to show off what the city has to offer and our $1.2billion investment in the airport, which continues with $1.3billion earmarked for the coming years. From PHL our customers can connect to over 400 U.S. destinations, so it is an excellent landing point for onward discovery of the USA.”
Brian Said, Executive Director of Tourism, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, commented: “Philadelphia is continuously evolving as a top notch tourism destination as our audience realizes that we are easily accessible, very affordable and there is so much to do. By partnering with Brand USA and AA / BA to showcase Philadelphia, the top selling agents in the UK and Ireland can experience first-hand and will sell more of Philadelphia and the region to their customers. American and British Airways fly 8 nonstop flights daily from the UK and Ireland to PHL.”