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Home arrowNews arrowHeritage Tourism Gets Boost with House Vote

Heritage Tourism Gets Boost with House Vote

On July 22, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4450 to reauthorize the Travel Promotion Act and “Brand USA.” (A companion bill in the Senate, S. 2250, has 31 co-sponsors and is awaiting committee action.) America’s historic landmarks make up a bulk of the tourism draw to the United States from people all over the world.

"Brand USA" was established by the Travel Promotion Act in 2010 to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and grow America’s share of the global travel market. The organization was also charged with communicating U.S. entry/exit policies and procedures, and identifying and correcting misconceptions about those policies in overseas markets, particularly in the wake of 9/11. Formed as the Corporation for Travel Promotion, the public-private entity formally began operations in May 2011 and does business as Brand USA.

The budget for Brand USA comes from private sector travel industry contributions and through a portion of a fee that foreign visitors who are part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) pay when they apply for authorization to visit the United States under the VWP. The bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office released a report on July 21 showing that continued travel promotion under the reauthorization bill would reduce the U.S. federal deficit by $231 million over 10 years.

The Brand USA organization aims to bring millions of new international visitors (who spend billions of dollars and sustain tens of thousands of jobs) to the United States. Cultural heritage sites and experiences, including World Heritage sites, National Park units and other public lands, National Historic Landmarks, National Heritage Areas, historic communities, and all the properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, are an important part of the tourism "draw" to this country.The ACHP, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and others have been encouraging Brand USA, the Department of Commerce, and a variety of public and private partners to highlight U.S. landmarks and historic places in their promotional activities.

Posted July 24, 2014