It was revealed this week that tourism organisation leader, Brand USA, is at threat of elimination following budget cuts in the US. Whilst there is a tranche of confusion about why Brand USA has fallen victim to the cuts, and of course suggested conspiracy theories flying around, I think this story points out a major issue that has so far failed to have been raised - the underestimation of the power of tourism.
In a country such as the USA, it is easy to overlook the work that an organisation such as Brand USA has achieved. It is easy to become complacent and believe that consumers will still choose to holiday in America no matter what. But, what hasn't actually been raised is the effect that just existing as an organisation can do for tourism. Not only does it help to bring in tourism spend and visitor figures, but it also encourages different brands, companies and tourism suppliers to come together. The collective power of a single voice and a single goal should not be diminished and despite severe competition, an organisation such as Brand USA can unite companies for the greater good.
What we can be sure of is the resilience of travel and that Brand USA will not go down without a fight. But what we can't be sure of is how far this can go.
Brand USA is the United States travel industry’s latest potential victim of President Donald Trump’s four-month term as the national tourism marketing organization’s funding faces elimination under the president’s fiscal 2018 budget.