WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.), Amy
Klobuchar (Minn.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.)
released a bipartisan letter they led, and is cosigned by 43 of their Senate
colleagues, urging the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate Commerce and
Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committees to protect and renew
funding for Brand USA.
“Brand USA is a public-private partnership that
serves as the destination marketing organization for the United States,” the
senators wrote. “Though the program has been a proven success in boosting
tourism to the United States and driving economic growth, the 2018
congressional budget caps agreement diverted Brand USA’s user fees away from
the program to general revenue. We strongly support protecting and renewing
Brand USA’s funding, while upholding the original structure that no taxpayer
dollars should be used to fund the program.”
Since 2013, Brand USA has brought 5.4 million
incremental international visitors to the United States, generating a total
economic impact of $38.4 billion and supporting an average of 51,580 jobs
annually. In 2017, Brand USA spent $140 million on its marketing expenses while
generating $4.1 billion in incremental visitor spending, resulting in a
marketing return on investment of 29:1.
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.
to read the letter.