The American Gaming Association (AGA) has joined a wider coalition representing the U.S. travel industry in opposing a provision of President Donald Trump's recent budget proposal which intends to eliminate support for Brand USA.
Brand USA is a private – public partnership that works on behalf of the U.S. government to promote USA as a tourist destination to markets such as Brazil, Australia and India .The body was created post 9/11 in order to increase the U.S. market share in the global tourism.
In a statement Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association said,
We need to have a system that is both inviting and welcoming for bringing travelers. If we’re not going to ask them for their business, they’re not going to come. That’s where Brand USA comes in.
The letter signed by over 300 organizations, businesses, associations and marketing agencies – belonging to the travel industry has been sent to several key House and Senate committees such as the Senate Budget Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee. The petition has highlighted the important role played by the travel industry in the American economy as well as Brand USA’s contributions.
The letter pointed out that Brand USA has helped bring in additional 4.3 million visitors, resulting in related spending of $13.6 billion and $29.5 billion in total economic impact. The ensuing economic activity has supported an annual 50,900 incremental jobs. According to a survey, every $1 invested by Brand USA produces international visitor spends of $28, giving a boost to the country’s GDP.
In 2015, total spends of international travelers in the US was $246 billion, which accounted for 11 percent of all American exports and created a trade surplus of $98 billion. Data from the U.S. Travel Association shows that international travelers stayed for 18 nights on an average and spent $4,360 per capita.
Overall the U.S. travel industry provides employment to nearly 15 million Americans, with the casino industry alone supporting around 1.7 million jobs. The letter also highlighted that all these benefits were being accrued without spending tax payer money. The AGA comprises of both tribal and commercial casinos along with affiliates of the casino industry.
The association has campaigned hard for years to fight for the rights of the USA casino industry by educating the public on misinformed policies and protecting casino operators from being taken advantage of through government legislation.