The United States Senate voted 68-31 to pass the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill, which includes the Restoring Brand USA Act to provide $250 million in relief funding to the United States’ destination marketing organization.
“The inclusion of the Restoring Brand USA Act in the fiscal spending bill is a major win for the entire U.S. travel industry, which has suffered more than any other industry throughout the pandemic,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association. “As international travel spending remains 78% below prepandemic levels, the relief provided by the bill—which utilizes existing funds at no cost to American taxpayers—will help the international travel segment rebound more quickly and restore U.S. jobs.”
As destinations around the U.S., as well as other countries, including Italy, Saint Lucia and New Zealand, open, relax rules and introduce new protocols, it’s a great time for the U.S. to revitalize its destination promotion. According to the International Air Transport Association, traveler numbers are anticipated to reach 4 billion in 2024, a 103% increase from prepandemic levels.
“Brand USA has historically garnered strong bipartisan support due to its focus on promoting both urban and rural destinations, as well as its strong return on investment, which yields an average of $26 for each $1 spent on marketing activities,” Dow continued. “We are pleased that Congress has once again recognized the value this program holds for travel businesses and local economies in every pocket of the country.”
On April 7, U.S. Travel and Meetings Mean Business Coalition will be hosting the seventh annual celebration of Global Meetings Industry Day 2022. Like 2021, this year’s theme is Meet Safe, which will highlight the importance of in-person meetings and events.
Following U.S. Senate approval, the bill will now head to President Joe Biden for his signature.