In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, travel promotion is essential to drive new visitors and deliver economic benefits to communities across the country.
At no cost to taxpayers, Brand USA continues to successfully operate as a public-private partnership to promote travel to America from around the world. The program's marketing efforts help bring billions in spending by travelers from other countries, which strengthens our balance of trade and helps reduce our deficit.
Brand USA's economic impact in attracting international visitors has been enormous. In fact, in the last year alone, Brand USA’s marketing initiatives are responsible for welcoming more than one million incremental visitors to the United States and generating $6.6 billion in economic activity. Returning as much as $21.20 on every $1 spent on promotion, the program has supported nearly 45,000 incremental U.S. jobs per year, earning $1.9 billion in personal income.
As the program was up for reauthorization in 2014, a study by Oxford Economics further confirmed Brand USA's economic impact by revealing the consequences of a future without the program. Over the ensuing five-year period, 2016-2020, America would have lost nearly $54 billion in total business sales, $27.6 billion in value-added (GDP) and $53.8 billion in personal income. Rather than supporting new jobs, the U.S. economy would have instead created an average of 50,000 fewer jobs over the past two years.
The impact of Brand USA's efforts can be felt in communities in every corner of the United States. Destinations have the ability to partner with Brand USA to use their platforms and programs to increase visibility and engagement with potential international travelers.
From the tens of thousands of jobs it creates at no cost to federal taxpayers, the help it provides to improving our trade balance and its contribution to reducing the deficit, Brand USA promotion program is a policy that works—and must be maintained for years to come.
Inveseting in travel promotion allows states and cities to attract new visitors, whose spending creates significant economic activity. Without effective promotion, states and cities cede these benefits to competing destinations. Unfortunately, this critical step can be misunderstood by some state and local lawmakers, leading them to question the value of public investment in travel and tourism promotion.
The essential contributions of travel can be felt in every community nationwide. In 2015, travel generated $148 billion in total tax revenue, including $67 billion in state and local revenues that were used to fund essential services. Without these travel-generated revenues, each household would pay $1,200 more in taxes every year.
Destinations who decrease investment in travel promotion can experience an immediate and long-term negative impact. It can take years to recover from the loss of new visitors and subsequent economic activity.
As state and local governments' budgets for tourism promotion fluctuate from year to year, investing in travel promotion never fails to drive new visitors to destinations and deliver economic benefits to communities everywhere.