Brand USA—the nation’s destination marketing organization, tasked with increasing international visitation to the U.S. while improving our image abroad—released the results of its return on investment (ROI) study conducted by Oxford Economics.
And it’s tremendous news for the American economy.
Since FY2013, Brand USA’s efforts have brought 5.4 million incremental international visitors to the United States.
And these visitors aren’t just bringing their suitcases—they are bringing with them a major jolt to the U.S. economy. These international visitors spent nearly $18 billion, generating more than $38 billion in economic impact over that time period. Additionally, Brand USA’s efforts to draw international visitors to our country’s many unique sites and destinations created an average of 51,580 new American jobs per year.
In just 2017 alone, Brand USA generated more than one million incremental visitors, resulting in a total economic impact of $8.5 billion and 54,212 new American jobs.
And the ROI results are clear: Brand USA’s operating costs compared to its economic impact make it a worthwhile investment. In 2017, the organization spent $140 million on its marketing expenses while generating $4.1 billion in incremental visitor spending, resulting in a marketing ROI of 29:1.
Given the recent decline in America’s overall share of the international travel market, we are encouraged by these numbers. And the results underscore what we’ve known for years: Brand USA—at no cost to the American taxpayer—works, and we must do all that we can to ensure that this highly effective program gets the funding it needs.
"Travel and tourism is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy, and increasing international visitors to the United States provides new opportunities for growth within the industry. As tourism increases so does the need to service our guests, which drives job creation in all service sectors, including retail, restaurants and transportation," said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA.
Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic impact rely on Brand USA. Communities—from large cities to tiny, rural towns—benefit from Brand USA’s efforts to bring the world to America. And there is still so much of the international travel market that can be gained.
These ROI numbers should serve as a catalyst to encourage lawmakers to preserve Brand USA for the good of our communities and our economy.