U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow reacts to the return-on-investment study released Thursday by Brand USA, the public-private partnership created by Congress in 2010 to market the United States as a destination for international travel:
"At long last, it is not just anecdotal: The empirical evidence clearly demonstrates that Brand USA works.
"One of the easiest and most expedient ways to grow the U.S. economy is to tap into the international travel market, and in its brief existence, Brand USA has already paid vast dividends toward that end. Even much smaller countries spend tens of millions of dollars to promote themselves as destinations, and before Brand USA, there was no agency or entity that was performing that marketing function for the U.S. In a global tourism market that is hyper-competitive, Brand USA has already gone a long way toward leveling that playing field, bringing billions of dollars in new overseas spending to our economy. The best part: Brand USA is doing this at zero cost to the taxpayer, thanks to the innovative funding mechanism created by Congress.
"The benefits of international travel are phenomenal. Every 33 additional overseas visitors to the U.S. creates one unexportable, high-quality American job. Inbound travel is considered an export, and already creates the third-largest trade surplus of any U.S. industry. President Obama recognized all of this when he wisely set the goal of attracting 100 million overseas travelers annually by 2021. We can get there, but only if we equip our economy with the proper tools, and that needs to start with reauthorizing Brand USA this year."
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The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.0 trillion in economic output and supports 14.6 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.