H.R. 4450, Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014

H.R. 4450

Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014

Date
July 22, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 4450, the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014, under a suspension of the rules.  H.R. 4450 was introduced on April 10, 2014 by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4450 extends the Travel Promotion Act (TPA) of 2009 and the Corporation for Travel Promotion (also known as Brand USA) through fiscal year 2020.  H.R. 4450 amends the requirements for the Board of the Corporation to expand the list of potential candidates for the Board and requires that the Board must be comprised of individuals with particular expertise and experience.  Moreover, this legislation requires the Corporation’s annual marketing report to provide a description of, and rationales for the Corporations’ efforts to focus on specific countries and populations.  This legislation also establishes a biannual review of procedures to determine fair market value of goods and services received from non-Federal sources.  H.R. 4450 also requires the Corporation to: explain any expenditure in excess of $500,000 to the Secretary of Commerce; establish performance metrics for measuring the impact of its marketing efforts, and demonstrate any cost or benefit to the U.S. economy; and establish competitive procurement procedures.  Finally, H.R. 4450 repeals Brand USA’s authority to impose an annual assessment on U.S. members of the international travel and tourism industry.

Background

The tourism sector of the U.S. economy accounts for 2.8% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and directly employs 5.7 million Americans.[1]  Tourism exports reached $181 billion in 2013, representing a quarter of total U.S. services exports.[2]  In 1996, the United States Travel and Tourism Administration (USTTA), which served to facilitate tourism in the U.S., expired.[3]  In 2009, Congress established the Corporation for Trade Promotion (or Brand USA), a public-private entity that promotes tourism.[4]  The program is funded through a user fee assessed on international visitors, and requires in-kind and cash matching contributions from the U.S. tourism industry.[5]  Brand USA can also receive up to $100 million in annually matching federal funds.  Brand USA is set to expire at the end of fiscal year 2015.

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[1] Michaela D. Platzer, “U.S. Travel and Tourism: Industry Trends and Policy Issues for Congress,” Congressional Research Service (Apr. 2, 2014), at 1.
[2] See Id.
[3] See Id.
[4] See Id.
[5] See Id.

Cost

CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4450 would increase direct spending by $500 million and revenues by $731 million over the 2015-2024 period, resulting in a net decrease in the deficit of $231 million over the 10-year period.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.