Members of the United States travel and tourism community praised US Congress for passing a spending bill that renews Brand USA, America’s public-private travel promotion partnership.
Among the first who thanked and congratulated Congress is U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow. He said: “It’s not every day that Congress makes a policy move that makes abundant sense and has demonstrable value for every region and demographic of this country. Renewing Brand USA is one such thing.”
Dow added: “The overwhelming majority that passed reauthorization in the House, coupled with the unanimous vote that passed it out of the Senate Commerce Committee, are a ringing bipartisan endorsement of Brand USA’s mission and effectiveness. The tens of thousands of jobs it creates, the zero cost to federal taxpayers, the fact that it helps our trade balance by bringing huge amounts of foreign currency to the U.S., the contribution it makes to reducing the deficit by millions—Brand USA is simply a policy that works.”
The US Travel Association president and CEO said: “The travel community gives great thanks to Reps. Gus Bilirakis and Peter Welch, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Roy Blunt along with Senate Major Leader Harry Reid for leading the effort to reauthorize Brand USA. Further, committee leaders in the Senate and the House, including Reps. Fred Upton, Henry Waxman, Lee Terry, Jan Schakowsky, Hal Rogers, Nita Lowey, Sam Farr and Sens. John Thune, John Rockefeller, Brian Schatz, Tim Scott, Barbara Mikulski and Richard Shelby, have our deep appreciation for their steadfast leadership.”
According to the US Travel Association, Brand USA’s economic impact through attracting international visitors is already enormous. In 2013, the program drew more than 1.1 million additional visitors to the United States, generating $3.4 billion in additional visitor spending and $1 billion in federal, local and state tax revenues. Returning $47 on every $1 spent on promotion, the program supported nearly 53,000 new U.S. jobs.
A recent study by Oxford Economics further confirmed Brand USA’s economic impact by revealing the consequences of a future without the program. Over the ensuing five-year period, 2016-2020, America would have lost nearly $54 billion in total business sales, $27.6 billion in value-added (GDP) and $53.8 billion in personal income. Rather than supporting new jobs, the U.S. economy would have instead created 53,000 fewer jobs.
Brand USA is on its third year of existence.