Brand USA Reauthorized by Congress
In passing the wide-sweeping spending bill over the weekend, Congress also renews Brand USA, the public-private partnership that promotes travel to the United States. "It's not every day that Congress makes a policy move that makes abundant sense and has demonstrable value for every region and demographic of this country. Renewing Brand USA is one such thing," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, in a statement. The partnership has proven successful: In 2013, Brand USA helped bring in more than 1.1 million additional visitors to the United States, generating $3.4 billion in extra visitor spending and $1 billion in federal, local and state tax revenues, returning $47 on every $1 spent on promotion and supporting nearly 53,000 new U.S. jobs. A recent study by Oxford Economics further measured the consequences if the program weren't renewed, showing that over a five-year period from 2016 to 2020, the United States would have lost nearly $54 billion in total business sales, $27.6 billion in value-added (GDP) and $53.8 billion in personal income without the promotional support.