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300-plus travel businesses and organizations sign letter to Congress extolling agency’s benefits; For every $1 spent on marketing, Brand USA adds $27 to U.S. economy

WASHINGTON (June 6, 2017)—The U.S. travel industry is rallying around Brand USA, after President Trump’s budget proposal eliminating funding for the agency charged with marketing the U.S. around the world.

In a letter delivered to key congressional committees, the U.S. Travel Association—along with more than 300 travel businesses, associations, and destination marketing organizations—highlighted Brand USA’s new return-on-investment numbers, and the agency’s vital role in job creation across America.

“Brand USA is an outstanding performer from an ROI standpoint, and hamstringing this successful public-private partnership would be a bad move for our economy,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “The value Brand USA adds is simply phenomenal, it’s all done without a dime of taxpayer money.

“Millions of visitors who would not have come here otherwise have visited the U.S. because of Brand USA’s marketing campaigns, and they’ve added billions to the U.S. economy and supported tens of thousands of additional U.S. jobs per year. Now more than ever, Brand USA’s efforts are needed to show the world that America is, and always will be, a welcoming destination with so much to offer international visitors.”

Emphasizing Brand USA’s broad bipartisan support in Congress, the letter to House and Senate committee leaders outlines the agency’s task of attracting international business and leisure travelers to all 50 states—not just the major gateway cities.

Brand USA president and CEO Chris Thompson announced the latest results of an independent analysis of the agency’s return on investment at U.S. Travel’s IPW gathering in Washington, D.C. today. According to the independent research firm Oxford Economics, over the last four years Brand USA’s marketing efforts have resulted in:

  • Over 4 million incremental (additional) visitors to the U.S., who might not have visited otherwise;
  • Nearly $14 billion in incremental (additional) visitor spending;
  • Nearly 51,000 additional American jobs per year; and
  • Nearly $4 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue, helping fund vital services like fire departments and public schools.

Brand USA is supported by $10 from each $14 Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) fee paid by visitors from Visa Waiver Program countries, which are matched by private sector contributions. In return, every $1 Brand USA spent on marketing generated $27 to the U.S. economy.

Said Dow: “Based on their stated priorities of economic, job and export growth, the Trump administration officials have every reason to support Brand USA. As we welcome the world to America in the White House’s backyard during this year’s IPW, I hope they will see the tremendous value of the agency, and evolve their position on this successful organization.” 

About U.S. Travel Association

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 15.1 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.  Visit

Contact: Cathy Keefe Reynolds / 202.408.2183

Contact: Jamie Morris / 202.218.3621

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