The House cleared legislation July 22 to reauthorize Brand USA, the public-private partnership developed to promote international travel to the United States.

Brand USA, created by the Travel Promotion Act in 2010, is financed entirely by fees paid by visitors from Visa Waiver Program countries and contributions from the travel industry.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, in 2013 Brand USA helped draw more than 1.1 million additional visitors to the U.S., resulting in $3.4 billion in additional visitor spending.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), said his legislation is a “jobs bill” that would strengthen travel and tourism and get more Americans working in an important sector of the economy.

The Senate Commerce Committee yesterday approved a companion bill (S. 2250) by a unanimous vote. The Senate bill, introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), has 30 co-sponsors.

“International tourism to the United States helps drive billions in sales every year, powering economic growth in local communities in Minnesota and across the country,” Klobuchar said. “Brand USA is a proven partnership that helps the U.S. compete globally by boosting tourism to the United States, and I’ll keep pressing to extend this program until we get it done.”

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