Dear Planet Earth: The United States Would Like You To Visit Soon

Planet Earth is home to the Golden Gate BridteTravelers from around the planet to the United States took a huge drop in the decade after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In response to that drop, the U.S Travel Association – along with several large tourism groups and travel businesses and the U.S. government – have a plan to get them back.

Called “Discover America,” the $150 million campaign will launch billboards, magazine ads, online videos and television commercials, emblazoned in colorful images of city scenes, forests and beaches.

The campaign is headed by a board of directors appointed by the U.S. secretary of Commerce, since it was approved by Congress as part of the Travel Promotion Act of 2010.

Financed in part by a $14 fee charged to each international visitor who registers for a visa to enter the U.S., the program is also accepting donations from private businesses such as hotels and theme parks.

So far, Marriott International Inc.,The Walt Disney Company and Best Western International Inc. have each contributed the minimum amount of $1 million in cash.

“Those that can’t donate those dollars still benefit from the overall campaign,” said Chris Perkins, chief marketing officer for the U.S. Travel Association campaign in an LA Times article. “By selling the whole nation, they all stand to benefit.”

The Discover America program starts next month in Canada, Britain and Japan, followed later in Brazil, South Korea, India and Germany.

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[Flickr photo via Stuck in Customs]