Brand USA—the nation’s destination marketing organization tasked with increasing international visitation to the U.S.—this week released another impressive return-on-investment (ROI) study conducted by Oxford Economics.

The numbers, for 2018, reinforce what we already knew: Brand USA is a worthwhile investment and then some, bringing millions of visitors to America and creating thousands of jobs—all at no cost to the American taxpayer.

Over the past six years, Brand USA’s marketing efforts have brought 6.6 million incremental international visitors to the U.S. These international visitors spent nearly $22 billion, generating a total economic impact of $47.7 billion. Brand USA’s efforts to draw international visitors to the U.S. supported an average of 52,000 incremental American jobs every year. 

In 2018 alone, the program brought 1.13 million additional visitors to the U.S. who spent more than $4 billion, generating a total economic impact of $8.9 billion.

The numbers don’t lie: Brand USA is worth every penny of its investment. In 2018, the organization turned in a remarkable marketing ROI of 32:1, up from last year’s already-impressive number of 29:1. In other words, every dollar Brand USA spent on marketing generated $32 in international visitor spending.

“The FY2018 ROI study reinforces the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns and how our efforts are supporting communities and employment throughout the country,” said Brand USA President and CEO Chris Thompson. “The U.S. provides international travelers more value in its diversity of experiences than any other place in the world, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners to market the USA as the ultimate travel destination.”

As the U.S. continues to see its share of the global travel market decline, Brand USA’s contributions to bringing the world to America cannot be overstated. These numbers should serve to remind Congress about the value of Brand USA, and encourage lawmakers to secure its immediate long-term reauthorization—thousands of jobs and millions in economic impact are counting on it. 

In This The Itinerary
Tori Emerson Barnes is Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Policy, at the U.S. Travel Association, the leading voice for all segments of the U.S. travel and tourism industry. Barnes directs the association's public affairs and external... View Profile ›

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