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Coalition Urges Brand USA Reauthorization

Brand USA’s future has “been unintentionally placed at risk”

The Visit U.S. Coalition is circulating a sign-on letter urging lawmakers to reauthorize Brand USA, the public-private partnership established by Congress to market and promote the U.S. as a destination.

Brand USA has proven effective in drawing international visitors to the U.S., working with more than 800 partner organizations to generate $17.7 billion in visitor spending and $5 billion in tax revenue since fiscal 2013. Enacted as part of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, Brand USA is funded by a portion of a fee assessed from international visitors coming to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program, and matching funds from the private sector travel industry.

The Visit U.S. Coalition, which includes ASAE as a founding member, points out in the sign-on letter that Brand USA’s future has “been unintentionally placed at risk” by a 2018 budget caps agreement that diverted the organization’s VWP fee revenue.

“While this transition was not intended to undermine Brand USA’s strong performance, this financial insecurity places the future planning and progress of travel promotion for communities rural and urban across the United States at risk,” the letter states. “Without this funding, private sector partners of Brand USA are limited, and in some cases deterred, from marketing to highly valued international travelers.”

While travel is up in many countries around the world, the U.S. share of global travel is declining for the first time in a decade, according to statistics from the U.S. Travel Association and the Visit U.S. Coalition. Click here by Nov. 13 to add your organization’s name to the sign-on letter urging Brand USA reauthorization.

This article was provided to OSAE by the Power of A and ASAE's Inroads.

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