Since the Trump Administration first released their 2018 budget proposal, the U.S. travel industry has balked at the Administration’s intention to eliminate funding for Brand USA, a public/private organization dedicated to marketing the United States as a premier travel destination. Many major travel entities have taken a stand for Brand USA, including the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).
In an effort to spotlight the importance of Brand USA to the overall U.S. economy, AHLA and more than 300 travel businesses, associations, and destination marketing organizations sent letters yesterday afternoon to key House and Senate committees highlighting Brand USA’s critical role in promoting the United States as a premier travel destination that attracts millions of new visitors who infuse billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.
The letter says, in part: “On behalf of the 15 million Americans whose jobs depend on a vibrant travel sector, we are writing in opposition to a provision in the President’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposal to eliminate funding for Brand USA.
“By attracting international visitors, Brand USA enhances economic growth in all 50 states and territories, spurs job creation and advances public diplomacy – all at no expense to American taxpayers. Its activities are supported by private sector contributions and matched by a $10 fee paid by international visitors from Visa Waiver Program nations.
“As Congress deliberates on next year’s federal budget, we urge you to examine closely the uniformly positive impact of Brand USA’s work that adds so much value to America’s economy without cost to America’s taxpayers. With so much at stake, never has the crucial work of Brand USA been more important in our communities.”
The travel industry is dedicated to restoring funding for this critical program.