Congress to swell tourism ad budget

The US government will pour around US$65m (39m) a year into a new long-term campaign to market the US as a tourist destination – if a bill called the Visit USA Act gets the green light from Congress on October 11.

According to a spokesman for the US National Tourism Organisation, which is backing the bill, the organisation will be looking for agencies to promote the US in its key markets. The UK is considered the second most important market after Japan.

“If the legislation gets the go-ahead, we hope that public funding will be matched by the industry, which could increase our budget by 50 to 100 per cent,” says a spokesman for the USNTO.

Currently, different regions in the US are responsible for creating their own international campaigns. However, concern has arisen in recent years that the US is losing out to other destinations after its international tourism market share has dropped by some 17 per cent over the past five years.

USNTO is funded by the Travel Industry Association of America and was established to increase the US’s $80bn (47bn) international tourism market.

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