U.S. Commercial Service
Promotion of Chicago/Illinois as an International Tourism Destination
Overview - April 2012
The U.S. Commercial Service – Chicago (CS Chicago) has coordinated with Chicago Office of Tourism, Illinois Bureau of Tourism (IBT), CCTB, & Commercial Service offices around the world in placing articles that highlight the many attractions of Chicago/Illinois in various international media. CS Chicago has gathered content and photos for direct placement, as well as introduced visiting international journalists to Communications staff at the Chicago Office of Tourism. This is all done at no cost to Chicago/Illinois.
Examples include the following:
The U.S. Commercial Service International Buyer Program (IBP) recruits thousands of qualified foreign buyers, sales representatives, and business partners to U.S. trade shows each year, giving show exhibitors excellent opportunities to expand business globally. IBP trade shows are promoted around the world and CS Trade Specialists recruit and lead buyer delegations to approximately 35 IBP trade shows per year. Show organizers can apply to be part of the program, and shows are selected based on potential for U.S. export sales. Chicago shows that are part of the IBP program in 2012 include the Home & Housewares Show, NRA, Graph Expo and Pack Expo.
The Commercial Service maintains a presence, often in the form of organizing a U.S. Pavilion, at a number of major international tourism shows such as ITB in Berlin and WTM in London, not to mention Pow Wow in the U.S. At all these shows, CS staff work to facilitate connections between U.S. industry contacts and those in their home countries, including journalists, tour operators, airlines, etc. Many tourism Commercial Specialists are members of the Visit USA Committees in their home countries, and some have even been instrumental in the formation of new Visit USA Committees.
Chicago Week in Croatia – October 2011: CS Chicago worked on this unique program at the request of State Department colleagues at the U.S. embassy in Zagreb.