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Travel program attracts 1 million more visitors to USA

Profile Photo By: H L
February 14, 2014

Travel program attracts 1 million more visitors to USA

Hospitality News: NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: Yellow taxi cabs rush tourists around Times Square on August 28, 2009 in New York City, NY
NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: Yellow taxi cabs rush tourists around Times Square on August 28, 2009 in New York City, NY

Brand USA, the tourism-marketing program funded jointly by a customs fee and the travel industry, generated 1 million more visitors last year who spent $3.4 billion in the USA, according to a report released Thursday.

The extra visitors represented 2.3% more growth in 2013 than would have occurred without Brand USA’s marketing initiatives, according to a study by Oxford Economics, which provides economic analysis, forecasts and consulting advice.

The additional $3.4 billion spent in the USA, including airfare, came after Brand USA spent $72 million on marketing and $9.6 million on overhead, according to the report.

“International tourism is not only one of the USA’s best levers for creating jobs, growing exports and driving economic growth, the benefits also extend well beyond the travel industry to include retail, restaurants, transportation and other businesses,” says Christopher Thompson, CEO of Brand USA.

Congress created the program in 2010, under legislation that would match travel industry spending on marketing with up to $100 million a year in customs fees. Customs and Border Protection charges people visiting the USA a $10 fee that pays for the promotion program, along with a $4 processing charge.

“At long last, it is not just anecdotal: The empirical evidence clearly demonstrates that Brand USA works,” said Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “The benefits of international travel are phenomenal.”

The program was created as an umbrella to market the country as an international travel destination, rather than rely on a specific resort attraction or hotel or airline to recruit tourists.

Click here to read more.

Source USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2014/02/13/brand-usa-travel-promotion-tourism/5448363/

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