Regaining America's lost share of international travel
By Jonathan Tish
A year ago, travel industry leaders warned about the economic impact from a potential slowdown in international visitors. Unfortunately, that slowdown has arrived. While global travel is growing, the U.S. share of the market fell nearly 13% over the past few years. That means we missed out on 7.4 million international visitors, $32 billion in additional spending and 100,000 more jobs. While America is losing visitors, Germany, Australia, the U.K. and Canada are seeing their market share increase.When it comes to conveying America's image to the world, public policy and public rhetoric matter, and to many international travelers right now, America's message is not very welcoming. One effective response is Brand USA, a public-private partnership created by Congress to promote America as the best destination for international visitors. Last year, as a result of the marketing and advertising programs of Brand USA, more than one million international visitors came to America and generated $8.5 billion for our economy. The program returns an estimated $28 in visitor spending for every $1 invested -- without a single dollar from U.S. taxpayers.