Travel and tourism are critical drivers of the American economy, generating $2.3 trillion in economic output and supporting one in nine American jobs. Maintaining and growing this segment requires increasing the flow of international visitors to the U.S. while recognizing the value of government, business, and leisure travel here at home. Global travel is growing, but the U.S. share of the international travel market has declined since 2015, costing a potential 96,000 new jobs and an additional $30.7 billion in spending by international visitors. The U.S. can facilitate and encourage international visitors while keeping a strong commitment to security. The hotel industry supports a welcoming message to the world and policies that strike an appropriate balance between security and travel.
Congress recognized the importance of international visitors to the U.S. when it created Brand USA, a public-private partnership that promotes America as a travel destination for international visitors. It has been an unqualified success—welcoming international travelers, generating American jobs and enhancing America’s image abroad—at zero expense to American taxpayers. Brand USA must be reauthorized by the end of 2020.