TITUS, BIPARTISAN GROUP OF LAWMAKERS DEMAND PROTECTIONS FOR THE TOURISM INDUSTRY IN FY19 BUDGET

Feb 5, 2018
Press Release

February 5, 2018

Washington, D.C. – Today Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada’s First Congressional District lead a PDF iconbipartisan letter signed by 14 of her colleagues to address concerns about President Donald Trump’s FY19 budget and potential cuts that would affect programs to promote the nation’s travel and tourism industry.

Since the rise of President Trump, international travel to the US has experienced declines while other nations are seeing major growth in the industry. Rep. Titus and the bipartisan group of colleagues requested that the President protect Brand USA and the Survey of International Travelers. In Trump’s FY18 Budget he proposed eliminating Brand USA. The President’s FY19 Budget will be released on Feb 12.

 

TEXT OF THE LETTER IS BELOW AND A COPY ATTACHED

 

 

February 5, 2018

 

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear President Trump:

 

In advance of your Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Budget, we write to urge continued support of two programs critical to our nation’s travel and tourism industries: Brand USA and the Survey of International Travelers. International travel plays a significant role in our nation’s economy, contributing nearly $245 billion dollars in 2016 and supporting 7.6 million Americans jobs.

 

Brand USA is a public-private partnership that was created in 2010 to help address the post-9/11 decade of declining U.S. share in the global travel market which cost our nation 500,000 travel-related jobs. For every dollar spent marketing the United States as a travel destination, our economy receives $25 in return. There are few federal programs that can compete with that return on investment. Zero taxpayer dollars are spent in support of this vital program. With changing economies all around the world, it is vital American businesses and destinations compete for an ever-growing global travel market.

 

The Survey of International Travelers is a program under the Department of Commerce that plays an outsized role in supporting our travel and tourism businesses. This is the only official means of measuring who visits the U.S., where they travel, how long they stay, and how much they spend. Cities, states, and U.S. territories rely heavily on this data for strategic marketing to promote local destinations to potential foreign visitors. Given your background in the hospitality industry, you know more than most how important it is to understand changes in the marketplace and how businesses can best position themselves to be competitive. 

 

Although global travel is up worldwide, the United States is now one of only two of the world’s major travel destinations, the other being Turkey, that have experienced declines in international visitors over the last two years. This negative trend has cost our country $32.2 billion in additional spending and 100,000 jobs. We need every tool available to reverse this trend and put the United States back on a path of positive growth in international travel. Brand USA and the Survey of International Travelers are vital to this work and we urge your support for these programs in your budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2019. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,