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Hotel industry praises congressional passage of Brand USA

Congress agrees to reauthorize critical program for hotel success and job growth.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) praised both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for agreeing to reauthorize Brand USA as part of the omnibus spending bill to fund the government. As the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, AH&LA pressed Members of Congress to continue this critical program with letters, meetings and phone calls, and welcomed the final Senate vote which sent the legislation to the President’s desk for signature.

“Consensus and partnership are two words not often uttered in Washington D.C., but today we see that both sides can come together and accomplish worthy goals. Extending Brand USA will allow the hotel industry to continue to grow and create well-paying, long-lasting jobs.

“Brand USA ensures that the United States remains competitive and utilizes tools that most other countries also use to attract and welcome international travelers. This bill is a win not only for the hotel and travel industry, but for every small business and industry that tourists support.  Ensuring the continuation of this program is critical to our industry, and we applaud Congress for their bipartisan collaboration and getting the job done,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president and CEO.

Brand USA is a private-public partnership designed to increase international travel to the United States. Last year alone, Brand USA generated 1.1 million incremental international visitors, $3.4 billion in direct spending, and $1 billion in total sales tax revenue, and created or supported 53,000 jobs. The program operates without the investment of a single dollar in taxpayer funds.

Brand USA Selects Ogilvy Public Relations as Agency of Record
Brand USA also announced it has selected Ogilvy Public Relations as its global media relations agency of record following a competitive RFP process. Ogilvy PR has been Brand USA’s media relations partner since December 2013. The relationship will continue to be managed by the Ogilvy Media Influence team based in the New York office and will expand to include support from a multi-disciplinary global team.

“We are excited to continue working with the Ogilvy PR team and look forward to building on our partnership to drive travel to the United States,” said Anne Madison, Chief Communications Officer, Brand USA. “As you know, we have a significant goal to reach in attracting 100 million international visitors by 2021 and are pleased to partner with an agency that has proven nation branding expertise.”

Ogilvy Media Influence will be responsible for establishing a consistent message and global media relations strategy on behalf of Brand USA to drive increased international visitation to the United States while also growing the nation’s share of the global travel market.  The program will consist of a strategic mix of earned media relations, social media engagement, content creation, influencer engagement and industry events support.

“Nation branding is an emerging core competency for the agency and we are thrilled to continue our work with Brand USA,” said Jennifer Risi, Managing Director, Ogilvy Media Influence and Head of Media Relations, North America. “It is an exciting time for Brand USA and we look forward to working to position the brand as a global ambassador for U.S. tourism and promoting the diversity of all that the United States has to offer.”

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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