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Travel Community Praises Committee Vote on Brand USA Renewal

July 17, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The U.S. Travel Association today celebrated the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s unanimous approval of the Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act of 2014, H.R. 4450, which reauthorizes Brand USA, the public-private partnership dedicated to increasing inbound international travel to the United States.

“America’s travel community is grateful to Congressmen Gus Bilirakis and Peter Welch for championing this vital economic measure in the House,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. “We are also grateful to Chairman Fred Upton, Ranking Member Henry Waxman and all members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for their strong endorsement of Brand USA—and of course to Chairman Lee Terry and Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky for shepherding the measure to unanimous passage in the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee. The bill adds valuable accountability to how Brand USA fulfills its critical mission to generate economic growth.

“With Brand USA’s results-focused track record and its unique funding instrument that keeps it completely off the taxpayers’ books, its reauthorization is one legislative achievement that both parties can embrace and take credit for this session,” said Dow. “We hope and expect that leaders in both chambers will move it to floor action, and deliver this boon to the economy before they decamp for elections.”

Since it was introduced in April, H.R. 4450 has attracted broad, bipartisan support in the House (68 Republicans, 73 Democrats)—as has its Senate companion, S. 2250 (16 Republicans,15 Democrats).

A report released last week, Brand USA: Working for All of Us, details the positive economic benefits of Brand USA 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.

As described in the report, 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;
  • A public-private partnership enacted in 2010 through the bipartisan Travel Promotion Act; and,
  • Financed entirely by foreign visitors and the travel industry, without a single dollar of U.S. taxpayer funds, protecting the U.S. taxpayer from any exposure or risk.

“Brand USA creates jobs and economic opportunity in communities in every state,” said Dow.

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