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New Hampshire tourism efforts lauded

As New Hampshire’s former governor, Senator Jeanne Shaheen led several international trade missions to promote the state and its tourism industry.

Jim Cole /Associated Press

As New Hampshire’s former governor, Senator Jeanne Shaheen led several international trade missions to promote the state and its tourism industry.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The first global marketing effort to promote the United States as a travel destination is starting to pay off, an official with Brand USA told New Hampshire tourism industry officials Tuesday.

Mike Fullerton of Brand USA joined Senator Jeanne Shaheen in Portsmouth for a discussion of the state’s and nation’s tourism promotion activities.

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His organization was established through legislation Shaheen cosponsored in 2010, and last year launched a marketing campaign in Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Since then, the number of tourists who say they intend to travel to the United States from those countries has increased by between 14 and 22 percent, Fullerton said.

Last week, Brand USA began a new television, print, and online ad campaign in Brazil and Mexico, and future plans include Australia, China, and other markets, Fullerton said. The average Brazilian traveler spends $7,000 per trip to the United States, Fullerton said, and every 33 foreign visitors amount to one new US job created.

‘‘Leaders like Senator Shaheen have recognized the importance of that not only to the economy in New Hampshire, but to the US economy as a whole,’’ he said.

While tourism has increased globally over the last decade, the US slice of those travelers has fallen, due in large part to complicated visa procedures and heightened security that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The 10 years after the attacks are often referred to as the ‘‘lost decade’’ for US tourism, because new procedures drove millions of international travelers to other countries.

Jeff Rose, commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, said New Hampshire is starting to see the benefits of Brand USA’s initial efforts and is excited about the next steps.

‘‘We’re just catching this wave,’’ he said. ‘‘We have a lot of forward opportunities and growth before us.’’

Tourism is New Hampshire’s second-largest industry, behind manufacturing, and accounts for more than 60,000 jobs statewide. As governor, Shaheen led several international trade missions to promote the state and its tourism industry and has continued those efforts in the Senate.

‘‘We are just beginning to see the tip of the iceberg in terms of how much benefit we’re going to see in the United States and here in New Hampshire,’’ Shaheen said.

The group discussed several ways Brand USA could help New Hampshire tourist attractions and other businesses, including working with Portsmouth to attract Japanese visitors to the city where the 1905 treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War was signed or promoting the state’s craft beer breweries as part of a larger tour.

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