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Brand USA Reauthorization Clears Senate Committee

July 25, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

America’s travel community on Wednesday applauded Senate Commerce Committee approval of the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014, S. 2250, which would reauthorize Brand USA—the public-private partnership dedicated to increasing inbound international travel to the United States.

The measure passed the committee by unanimous voice vote.

The House of Representatives approved a companion bill, H.R. 4450, Tuesday by a vote of 347-57.

“U.S. travel leaders thank Chairman Jay Rockefeller, Ranking Member John Thune and members of the Senate Commerce Committee for their vote of confidence today in Brand USA,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. “The Senate committee vote follows the House’s resounding approval of this important travel program, and we are extremely pleased that Congress is moving forward on extending the proven benefits of Brand USA for another five years.”

Enacted in 2010 through the bipartisan Travel Promotion Act, Brand USA is an integrated marketing and communications program that promotes international travel to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The program is financed entirely by foreign visitors and the travel industry. Brand USA does not cost federal taxpayers one dime.

A report released earlier this month, Brand USA: Working for All of Us, details how Brand USA is delivering for destinations nationwide. In 2013, Brand USA:

  • Attracted more than 1.1 million additional visitors to the United States;
  • Resulted in $3.4 billion in additional visitor spending;
  • Supported 53,000 new U.S. jobs;
  • Generated nearly $1 billion in federal, local and state tax revenue; and,
  • Yielded a 47:1 return on investment (ROI) on marketing programs—a far higher ROI than travel promotion programs operated by competitor nations such as the United Kingdom and Canada.

Said Dow: “Brand USA provides enormous economic opportunities and job growth for large and small communities across the country. We urge Senate leadership to bring this bill to the floor immediately, so Brand USA can be reauthorized and its economic promise and benefits can continue.

“We extend our specific thanks to Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Roy Blunt for their tireless championing of this measure, Chairman Brian Schatz and Ranking Member Tim Scott of the Tourism, Competitiveness and Innovation Subcommittee for their stewardship of the bill.

“We also extend thanks to other members of the committee who have cosponsored the legislation-Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Mark Begich of Alaska, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Bill Nelson of Florida and Roger Wicker of Mississippi-for their instrumental work in advancing the legislation thus far.”

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