Travel industry leaders praised the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce for holding a markup today on legislation to reauthorize Brand USA, the public-private entity created in 2010 to market the U.S. as a destination to international visitors.

The Visit U.S. Coalition, which includes ASAE, has been urging Congress to reauthorize Brand USA before its funding expires at the end of the year. Brand USA’s funding comes from international visitor fees which are matched by the private sector. Legislation (H.R. 3851) to reauthorize Brand USA was introduced over the summer by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).

“Since its inception, the program has showed a strong return on investment,” the Visit U.S. Coalition said in a release. “Travelers from around the world have visited communities across America generating a whopping $22 billion in visitor spending on average each year – which translates to 52,000 jobs.”