Trump wants to eliminate Brand USA: U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow responded

Trump wants to eliminate Brand USA:  U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow responded

America First, does this include tourism? The United States Republican President Donald Trump operates Trump Hotels, luxury golf courses- all important players in the U.S. hospitality and tourism industry. Many visitors staying in Trump Hotels are foreign visitors.  Tourism is one of the largest exports in the United States and counts for more than 10% of all jobs that are directly or indirectly employed by US Travel and Tourism stakeholders.

One should think a Trump president with a business mind should understand the importance for a country to have a national tourism Board. This national tourism board is Brand USA.

Just in April eTN Publisher Juergen Steinmetz interviewed Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA and asked the question about funding of the agency. Steinmetz was referring to a situation in the beginning of the Obama administration when Republican leaders wanted to eliminate Brand USA.

CEO Chris Thompson responded to eTN last month: “We never take anything for granted, but when we came into existence in 2010, we had to get reauthorized in 2015. We believe our stakeholders understand and appreciate what we are doing. We are confident that in partnership with our federal government, we are bringing value to the travel sector.”

Mr. Thompson in the eTN interview also didn’t think the US was becoming isolated after the election. On the contrary, he said:“Whenever a new administration comes in, there is a review of travel policies – this is nothing new. Our goal is to promote the US as a tourist destination; this hasn’t changed.

Within one month this has changed completely. President Trump wants to eliminate Brand USA. Tourism is not on the agenda of the land of the free, it’s border walls and extreme vetting for visas. Brand USA advertising campaign in key markets overseas to encourage tourists to explore the United States as a local may be short lived.

President Trump’s federal budget document has no room for Brand USA and tourism.

In response to this dramatic development, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement today:

He said:


With all that’s going on in the world, unilaterally disarming the marketing of the U.S. as a travel destination would be to surrender market share at the worst possible time. It’s especially perplexing that the elimination of Brand USA is on the table when both Commerce Secretary Ross and OMB Director Mulvaney each have supported it previously.
“The creation of Brand USA was a bipartisan effort led by Republicans that passed both chambers by overwhelming majorities. The agency was responsible for adding $8.9 billion to the U.S. economy last year, according to the firm Oxford Economics—a 28-to-1 return on investment. Brand USA isn’t funded with a dime of taxpayer money, reduced the deficit by $50 million, and by the OMB’s own accounting eliminating it would put the federal budget further in the red.
“With international visitation being the country’s No. 2 export supporting 15 million American jobs, we’re struggling to understand how cutting Brand USA squares with this administration’s stated priorities.”
What is Brand USA? 

Brand USA is the destination marketing organization for the United States with the mission of increasing incremental international visitation, spend, and market share to fuel the nation’s economy and enhance the image of the USA worldwide. 

Established by the Travel Promotion Act as the nation’s first public-private partnership to spearhead a globally coordinated marketing effort to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and communicate U.S. entry policies, Brand USA began operations in May 2011.

As one of the best levers for driving economic growth, international travel to the United States currently supports 1.8 million American jobs (directly and indirectly) and benefits virtually every sector of the U.S. economy. Brand USA works in close partnership with more than 700 partner organizations to invite the world to explore the exceptional, diverse, and virtually limitless travel experiences and destinations available in the United States of America.

According to studies by Oxford Economics, in the past three years Brand USA’s marketing initiatives have helped welcome more than 3 million incremental international visitors to the USA, benefiting the U.S. economy with more than $21 billion in business sales, and supporting, on average, nearly 50,000 incremental jobs a year.

Brand USA’s operations are supported by a combination of non-Federal contributions from destinations, travel brands, and private-sector organizations, plus matching funds collected by the U.S. government from international visitors who visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

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