LEGISLATION HAS BEEN proposed to reauthorize Brand USA, a public-private partnership that promotes travel to the U.S. The bill’s sponsors and Brand USA supporters like AAHOA say the partnership helps bring billions of dollars into the economy, and the new legislation would keep it in business until 2027.
U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) sponsored the reauthorization bill. Brand USA has brought 6.6 million incremental international visitors to the U.S. since 2013, according to Blunt’s office, creating a nearly $48 billion economic impact and supporting more than 50,000 jobs a year. In 2018 alone it generated $4.1 billion in incremental visitor spending, resulting in a marketing return on investment of 32:1.
Rather than tax dollars, Brand USA is funded by contributions from private entities as well as a fee on visa-free international visitors screened by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization up to $100 million.
“America’s tourism industry supports thousands of jobs and contributes billions to our economy,” said Blunt. “Brand USA has a proven track record of bringing travelers to attractions, restaurants, and hotels in communities across our nation. This bipartisan bill will ensure we remain competitive in the international tourism industry and bring even more visitors to our shores.”
Organizations like AAHOA and the U.S. Travel Association also endorse the continuation of Brand USA.
“The renewal of Brand USA is critical to driving American jobs and exports, as well as travelers throughout the country,” said USTA President and CEO Roger Dow. “This is smart policymaking in support of a proven program that will help sustain our economic expansion for years to come without cost to taxpayers.”
AAHOA Interim President and CEO Rachel Humphrey said international travel to the U.S. supports tens of thousands of jobs and injects billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.
“Brand USA is a proven program that bolsters economic expansion at no cost to taxpayers. America’s hoteliers are heartened to see a concerted, bipartisan effort to help our nation claim its share of the global travel market,” Humphrey said.