The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, thanks Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Congressmen Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Peter Welch (D-VT) for today introducing legislation to extend the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 until FY 2020 and reauthorize Brand USA, and issued the following statement:

“While nearly every other nation around the world has an official program welcoming international tourists to their countries, the United States lacks a similar promotional program and therefore cannot maximize the number of visitors to this country,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. “Despite that, the outstanding work of Brand USA has resulted in a record 67 million international visitors to the U.S., and their $180.7 billion in travel spending supports 14.6 million jobs – a significant number of which are found in hotels, inns, and resorts in cities and towns across the country. And all of this is done at absolutely no cost to the taxpayer. It is crucial that we build on this momentum and protect this valuable growth industry and job creator. With today’s legislation, Senators Klobuchar and Blunt and Congressmen Bilirakis and Welch have reinforced the true economic value of a strong, sustained program encouraging increased international tourism. We thank them for their leadership and urge both houses of Congress to move swiftly in approving these bills.”