US ‘citizen diplomats’ to drive traffic to Dubai during Expo 2020

Global outreach by the organisers of the US pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai should result in a significant uptick in the number of Americans who travel to the UAE during the event, according to Greg Houston, the CEO of Pavilion USA 2020.

Speaking to Arabian Business in a recent interview, Houston said that part of the pavilion’s global outreach includes “showing all the amazing things happening in this part of the world to 350 million Americans.”

As a result of the campaign, Houston said that Pavilion USA 2020 will examine the number of Americans travelling to the UAE during the event as a key metric of its performance.

“We know how many people stop in the UAE when they transit on Emirates or Etihad,” he said. “You can then look to see if you’ve created a jump in the number of Americans who are coming. If there has been a shift, we’ve probably done a decent outreach campaign.

“I really hope that is the case. I can’t imagine that wouldn’t happen. We’re going to be talking about this for two years.”

Among Pavilion USA 2020’s partners are Global Ties US, a non-profit organisation established in 1961 to promote ‘citizen diplomacy’.

The organisation has a presence in nearly 90 communities around the United States.

“These are citizen diplomats who just want to promote grassroot engagement. Their role is to drive attention [to Expo] in these 85 communities,” Houston said.

“With their continued engagement and promotion across the US and their connections to the commercial sectors in their states and cities, we expect a lot of traffic going back and forth,” Houston added. “This will be trade traffic and citizen traffic.”

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