Brand USA markets the U.S. to global travelers worldwide, bringing in millions of additional international visitors each year—at zero cost to taxpayers.
International travel declined substantially in America after September 11, 2001, costing hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue. In order to resolve this issue, Congress enacted the Travel Promotion Act in 2010 to create Brand USA, a non-profit public-private partnership working to expand the U.S.’ share of the global travel market. It is the first nationally coordinated program responsible for leading a global marketing strategy for the U.S. Half of Brand USA’s budget (up to $100 million) is funded by the private sector, with a match provided by a $10 fee assessed on visa-free international travelers screened through Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Brand USA uses digital, mobile, and social media, billboards, television ads, entertainment programming, trade shows and educational campaigns in its travel promotion strategy. It is managed by a board of industry experts appointed by the Secretary of Commerce.
Brand USA helps attract billions in spending and economic stimulus and creates tens of thousands of new jobs here at home. In fact, Brand USA has shown a massive return on investment. For fiscal year 2018, Brand USA attracted 1.13 million additional international travelers who supported over 52,000 new American jobs. International travel is one of the best levers for creating good American jobs, growing exports and driving economic growth. The average visitor to America spends $4,200 per trip on U.S. goods and services in communities across the country. With millions of new global citizens joining the middle class and beginning to travel abroad, Brand USA seeks to attract these visitors and their spending.
It is critical that Brand USA is reauthorized this year to ensure the program can maintain its economic impact and effectiveness. Tell your lawmakers to support the important work Brand USA is doing to boost the U.S. economy.