The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the reauthorization bill for Brand USA, the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act. Brand USA is a public-private entity created to promote the U.S. and attract and welcome international tourists. In 2013, Brand USA's efforts resulted in 1.1 million additional visitors to the U.S.; a $3.4 billion increase on travel and purchases from foreign travelers; $7.4 billion in total sales; 53,000 new U.S. jobs; and $1 billion in total sales tax revenue.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association issued the following statement in the wake of the Act's passage:
“The swift, unanimous passage of this legislation by the Energy and Commerce Committee brings us one step closer to reauthorizing this extremely valuable tourism program,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. “Congressmen Gus Bilirakis and Peter Welch have taken the lead in touting the successes of Brand USA since its inception, and their championing of their bill, together with the program’s proven track record, were instrumental in the swiftness of this process. We thank Chairman Fred Upton and Ranking Member Henry Waxman for today’s successful committee vote and now urge the full House of Representatives to act quickly. When considering the benefits this program has provided by successfully attracting tourists from around the world, giving the U.S. a competitive edge, and contributing to the continued strength of our industry and the national economy without costing taxpayers a dollar, this should be an easy vote to cast.”