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Statement of support submitted to Senate subcommittee on behalf of 1.8 million-employee industry

Washington, D.C. - June 26, 2014 - The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, issued the following statement in advance of today's Senate Tourism, Competitiveness, and Innovation Subcommittee hearing, "The State of U.S. Travel and Tourism: Government Efforts to Attract 100 Million Visitors Annually":

"Travel and tourism, which generates billions of dollars in annual revenue, is a key component of the nation's economic foundation, and Brand USA has been crucial to maintaining that strength," said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. "In recent years, Brand USA has provided the U.S. with a competitive edge and a promotional program that has successfully attracted and welcomed tourists from countries around the world.  We thank Chairman Schatz and Ranking Member Scott for their leadership in convening this timely hearing and leading an important discussion on maintaining this advantage.  The lodging industry urges the Senate to act quickly on the reauthorization of a program that is crucial to the continued strength of the nation's travel and tourism sector and of our industry's role as a driver of economic growth and job creation."

A letter submitted to the Subcommittee by AH&LA and 38 state lodging associations in advance of the hearing notes that Brand USA's efforts in 2013 resulted in:

  • 1.1 million additional visitors to the U.S. who spent
  • $3.4 billion on travel and purchases, resulting in
  • $7.4 billion in total sales, which supported over
  • 53,000 new U.S. jobs, and generated
  • $1 billion in total sales tax revenue.

Brand USA is the public-private entity created to promote the U.S. and attract and welcome international tourists.  In 2012, international visitors contributed $180.7 billion in travel spending, supporting 14.6 million jobs in all 50 states.

About American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA)

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $155.5 billion in annual sales from 4.9 million guestrooms.

Contact: Rosanna Maietta

(202) 289-3144

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