The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) issued a statement in advance of the Senate Tourism, Competitiveness and Innovation Subcommittee hearing, "The State of U.S. Travel and Tourism: Government Efforts to Attract 100 Million Visitors Annually,” urging for the congressional reauthorization of Brand USA, a public-private entity created to promote U.S. travel to international tourists.
AH&LA's statement reads:
“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.”
According to Hotel News Resource, the statement was followed by a letter submitted to the subcommittee by AH&LA and 38 state loading associations prior to the hearing. The letter states that Brand USA's involvements in U.S. travel during 2013 resulted in 1.1 million additional visitors to the U.s., who spent $3.4 billion on travel purchases. This resulted in $7.4 billion in total sales, supporting over 3,000 new U.S. jobs and generating $1 billion in sales tax revenue.
AH&LA has been active in Washington, and just last April the Association urged the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the The Save American Workers Act, designed to maintain a 40-hour work week for hotel employees.