Travel industry leaders are pushing Congress to reauthorize Brand USA when lawmakers return from the summer recess next week.

Legislation was introduced in July in both the House and Senate to reauthorize the funding mechanism for Brand USA, the public-private entity tasked with marketing the U.S. as a destination to international visitors.

Without reauthorization, Brand USA’s funding is set to expire at the end of the year because of the budget cap agreement passed by Congress last year that diverted Brand USA’s funding to general revenue. Brand USA’s funding comes from international visitor fees which are matched by the private sector.

Statistics from the U.S. Travel Association show that Brand USA’s marketing efforts have helped draw 6.6 million visitors to the U.S. and $22 billion in visitor spending over the past six years. Brand USA’s work is strongly supported by the U.S. travel industry as the U.S. share of the global travel market continues to decline.

U.S. Travel has created an action alert that travel industry leaders can use to encourage lawmakers to co-sign and support either the House bill (H.R. 3851) or the Senate bill (S. 2203) to renew Brand USA this year. Both bills are backed by U.S. Travel as well as the Visit U.S. coalition, which includes ASAE.