US Travel hails emergency funding for tourist board

The US Travel Association has welcomed a bill to provide emergency funding to the country’s destination marketing organisation, Brand USA.

Created in 2009, Brand USA is the public-private partnership charged with promoting the US as a destination to global travellers.

It is funded by a combination of Electronic System Travel Authorisation (Esta) visa waiver fees and matched funding from the private sector.

Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice-president of public affairs and policy at US Travel – the national, non-profit organisation representing all components of the American travel industry – hailed the approval of the Restoring Brand USA Act.

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“As we look to rebuild the travel economy from the devastating effects of the pandemic, it’s no overstatement to say the work of Brand USA has never been more essential,” she said.

“Brand USA has a proven record of generating a significant return-on-investment, delivering economic benefits to both urban and rural regions.

“However, the steep declines in international travel have decimated Brand USA’s funding: international travel restrictions resulted in the loss of more than one million American jobs and $150 billion in export income last year alone.

“The emergency relief provided by the bill – which utilises existing funds and comes at no additional cost to American taxpayers – will help bring back international visitors more quickly, shorten the recovery timeline and restore lost US jobs.”

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