The United States Travel Association has issued a statement questioning proposals to halt funding for Brand USA.
Roger Dow, president of the US Travel Association, said: “With all that is going on in the world, unilaterally disarming the marketing of the US as a travel destination would be to surrender market share at the worst possible time.
“It is especially perplexing that the elimination of Brand USA is on the table when both commerce secretary Ross and OMB director Mulvaney each have supported it previously.”
Brand USA is the destination marketing organisation for the United States with the mission of increasing incremental international visitation, spend, and market share to fuel the nation’s economy and enhance the image of the United States worldwide.
A federal budget document issued by the Trump administration has proposed the elimination of the tourism marketing as the president seeks to reduce the role of the federal government.
Established by the Travel Promotion Act as the nation’s first public-private partnership, Brand USA seeks to spearhead a globally coordinated marketing effort to promote the United States as a premier travel destination.
It was launched in 2011.
Dow added: “The creation of Brand USA was a bipartisan effort led by Republicans that passed both chambers by overwhelming majorities.
“The agency was responsible for adding $8.9 billion to the US economy last year, according to the firm Oxford Economics—a 28-to-1 return on investment.
“Brand USA is not funded with a dime of taxpayer money, reduced the deficit by $50 million, and by the OMB’s own accounting eliminating it would put the federal budget further in the red.
“With international visitation being the country’s number two export supporting 15 million American jobs, we’re struggling to understand how cutting Brand USA squares with this administration’s stated priorities.”
As one of the best levers for driving economic growth, international travel to the United States currently supports 1.8 million American jobs (directly and indirectly) and benefits virtually every sector of the US economy.
Brand USA works in close partnership with more than 700 partner organisations to invite the world to explore the exceptional, diverse, and virtually limitless travel experiences and destinations available in the United States of America.