A years-long advocacy effort joined by voices from every corner of the country culminated Thursday with congressional renewal of Brand USA, the tourism marketing organization of the United States.
Brand USA, which would have expired next year, had its future secured through 2027 via a reauthorization measure included in the broader end-of-year spending package.
The American travel community hailed the move, which will enable Brand USA to build on its record of adding 52,000 jobs annually and $47.7 billion in total economic impact to the U.S. economy since 2013—all at zero cost to the U.S. taxpayer.
"By approving Brand USA, Congress sends a clear message to the American people: smart, bipartisan policymaking that generates economic value and jobs is alive and well in Washington," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "Brand USA's work to boost international visitation is absolutely essential to the U.S. trade balance, and the fact that it operates without sending American taxpayers a bill make it a model public-private partnership that delivers proven results. Congress should be widely applauded for this move by anyone who cares about the U.S. economy and trade."
U.S. Travel has advocated for Brand USA alongside its colleagues in the Visit U.S. Coalition, a group of associations representing diverse sectors of the economy that benefit from the downstream economic effects of travel.
Travel advocates from each and every state had spoken out in favor of Brand USA's renewal, directly engaging their elected representatives and spreading the word via social, online and legacy media. Members of the U.S. Travel Association's CEO Roundtable—consisting of the heads of the country's most recognizable travel brands—issued a rare joint public statement in May urging Congress to act on Brand USA.
Dow singled out for praise the co-sponsors of Brand USA reauthorization in the Senate and House—Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and U.S. Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Dina Titus (D-NV) and Greg Walden (R-OR).
"The work of Brand USA's congressional champions to shepherd it through an incredibly busy legislative calendar was truly remarkable, and the more than 15 million Americans whose livelihoods depend on the travel industry—and the hundreds of thousands who will be able to join the industry thanks to the continued work of Brand USA—owe them a debt of gratitude," Dow said.
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.6 trillion in economic output and supports 15.8 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org.