WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.), Amy
Klobuchar (Minn.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.)
announced that their legislation to reauthorize Brand USA passed the Senate and
is on its way to the president’s desk. Brand USA is a public-private
partnership that enhances tourism across the country by promoting international
travel to the United States.
“Missouri’s tourism industry supports more than
300,000 jobs and contributes billions of dollars to our economy,” said Blunt.
“Reauthorizing Brand USA will help ensure we remain competitive in the
international tourism industry, and will bring even more visitors to
attractions, restaurants, and hotels in Missouri and across the nation.”
“Tourism is an important aspect of Minnesota’s
economy and the beauty and wilderness of our state has attracted visitors from
around the world for decades,” said Klobuchar. “The spending agreement will
help ensure that Brand USA can fulfill its mission of encouraging travelers
from around the world to visit Minnesota.”
“Reauthorization of Brand USA is exciting news for
Colorado’s tourism industry, which has exploded in growth as more than 80
million visitors each year travel to ski our world-class resorts, enjoy the
great outdoors, and experience the real American West,” said Gardner. “Colorado
shines as one of the nation’s top-ten most visited states, with direct flights
to Denver International Airport from countries like Canada, Japan, the United
Kingdom, and Germany. This bill will boost further tourism by strengthening the
Brand USA program, which is the promotion agency for U.S. tourism and operates
at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer. I look forward to seeing this legislation
signed into law and helping grow the U.S. tourism industry, which generates
more than $20 billion in annual spending in Colorado.”
“Brand USA has a proven
track record of boosting international tourism and creating good-paying jobs in
Nevada,” said Cortez Masto. “Restoring long-term funding to this program, at no
cost to the taxpayer, ensures we’re doing everything possible to support the
hundreds of thousands of Nevadans who work in the tourism and hospitality
industries. I’m pleased by the passage of the Brand USA reauthorization, and
I’ll continue fighting to grow the Silver State’s tourism industry and support
the families and communities who rely on it.”
"Brand USA provides incredibly positive
impact on the U.S. economy and jobs base at no cost to the taxpayer, and the
lawmakers who championed its reauthorization deserve tremendous credit for
smart and effective policymaking," said U.S. Travel Association President
and CEO Roger Dow. "Brand USA is not only proven to boost the country's
ability to tap into the lucrative international travel market, but it is
explicitly tasked with driving that value into every corner of the country.
Congratulations to the measure's cosponsors for getting this outstanding
program renewed before the end of this year, which will enable Brand USA to
maximize its value for the American people.”
Since 2013, Brand USA has brought 6.6 million
incremental international visitors to the United States, generating a total
economic impact of nearly $48 billion and supporting an average of around
52,000 jobs annually. International visitors are some of the most lucrative drivers
of economic activity, spending an average of $4,200 per person, per trip when
visiting the U.S. In 2018, Brand USA generated $4.1 billion in incremental
visitor spending, resulting in a marketing return on investment of 32:1.
The program has been a proven success in boosting
tourism to the United States and driving economic growth. Brand USA is funded
by international visitors and private contributions – not U.S. taxpayers. Half
of its budget comes from the private sector through cash and in-kind contributions.
The rest of the budget – up to a maximum of $100 million – is funded by a
nominal fee assessed on visa-free international visitors screened by the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization.
Amounts collected in excess of the cap are returned to the U.S. Treasury to
help reduce the deficit.