by Matt Alderton | November 14, 2014
Since its inception, Brand USA -- America's first global consumer brand -- has helped the United States attract millions of international visitors to its shores. To ensure it continues to do so, more than 300 business leaders from every U.S. state have sent a letter to U.S. senators and House and Senate leadership urging immediate passage of a Senate bill to reauthorize it, the U.S. Travel Association reported yesterday. A companion bill already has passed in the House of Representatives.

"During 2013, Brand USA's worldwide marketing campaigns generated 1.1 million incremental visitors to the United States -- a 2.3 percent increase that generated an additional $3.4 billion in revenues," the letter reads. "This spending generated $7.4 billion in business sales, $3.8 billion in GDP, and $2.2 billion in personal income, as well as supporting 53,000 new jobs. That equates to a remarkable return on investment of 47 to one. And all of this is already being accomplished at no expense to the U.S. taxpayer."

Brand USA was created in 2010 by the bipartisan Travel Promotion Act, which established a public-private partnership through which to promote international visitation to the United States. The "Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act" would reauthorize the Travel Promotion Act and renew Brand USA through 2020.

"In the three short years of Brand USA's existence, we have seen the incredible return on investment by promoting the U.S. overseas, welcoming an extra 1 million international travelers to our shores," said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. "The massive tax revenues, the creation of unexportable jobs, and the positive contribution to our trade balance are all tremendous economic opportunities felt by communities large and small across the country. We urge Congress to enact this legislation during the lame-duck session, so Brand USA can be reauthorized and its economic promise and benefits can continue."