by Matt Alderton | June 30, 2014
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) has doubled down on its support of America's first-ever global consumer brand: Earlier this month, the group asked the House of Representatives to extend Brand USA through 2020 by passing the "Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act" (H.R. 3340). Last week, it issued a similar call of action to the U.S. Senate 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."
A letter submitted to the Subcommittee by AH&LA and 38 state lodging associations in advance of the hearing noted that Brand USA's efforts in 2013 resulted in:    

• 1.1 million additional visitors to the U.S. who spent  
• $3.4 billion on travel and purchases, resulting in  
• $7.4 billion in total sales, which supported over  
• 53,000 new U.S. jobs, and generated  
• $1 billion in total sales tax revenue

"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," AH&LA President and CEO Katherine Lugar said in a statement. "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 … 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."