As legislation reauthorizing the Brand USA travel promotion program reached huge numbers of bipartisan cosponsors in both congressional chambers, the U.S. Travel Association on Wednesday released a new report highlighting the power of Brand USA to drive U.S. economic growth and job creation in destinations and businesses nationwide.
The partisan breakdown of support for Brand USA is evenly split in both the House and Senate. Of 27 sponsors of the Senate version, 14 are Democrats and 13 are Republicans; 71 Democrats and 66 Republicans have sponsored the House version, for a total of 137 so far.
"Brand USA works for America because it delivers economic opportunity and supports jobs in both small and large communities across the United States," said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. "This new report details how Brand USA's unique public-private partnership model effectively promotes increased international visitation and bolsters jobs and business investment, all without costing U.S. federal taxpayers a dime."
The new report, Brand USA: Working for All of Us, features the voices of travel business leaders testifying to the program's remarkable impact. In 2013, according to the report, 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.
Since it was introduced in April, the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4450), which would reauthorize Brand USA, has attracted broad, bipartisan support in the House of Representatives (67 Democrats, 58 Republicans). Support is also growing in the U.S. Senate. A companion bill, S. 2250, has been cosponsored by more than one-quarter of all U.S. Senators (13 Democrats, 14 Republicans).
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 federal taxpayer funds.
"Brand USA has been a stunning success and has delivered substantial economic benefits to every state," said Dow. "Congress should reauthorize the program without delay."
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 14.9 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.