NEWS RELEASE: VISIT U.S. COALITION APPLAUDS SENATE BILL FUNDING BRAND USA

WASHINGTON – Today, the Visit U.S. Coalition applauded the introduction of a bill that would continue to boost American jobs and the economy by marketing the U.S. as a premier travel destination around the world through a proven program – Brand USA.

The legislation introduced by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) reauthorizes Brand USA’s funding mechanism through 2027. Without this reauthorization, Brand USA’s funding will expire in 2020.

Since its inception, Brand USA has helped to bring international travelers to destinations all across America. Over the course of their stay travelers will visit restaurants, retail stores, and attractions. In the past six years Brand USA’s marketing has generated a whopping $22 billion in visitor spending – which translates to 52,000 incremental jobs every year.

Recently we have seen America’s share of global travel decline, falling from 13.7% in 2015 to 11.7% currently. Simply put – more people are travelling; they’re just visiting destinations other than the U.S. Without Brand USA and its strong return on investment, this decline would have been much worse.

“Brand USA brings millions of visitors to the U.S., and customers to our hotels, restaurants, and retail stores,” said Visit U.S. Coalition spokesperson Andrea Riccio. “Renewal of the program has clear economic benefits and will support jobs in cities and towns across the country.”

Created with strong bipartisan support in 2010, Brand USA operates at no cost to the taxpayer. The program is funded through a small fee paid by incoming foreign travelers under the Visa Waiver Program, which is then matched by contributions from the private sector.