Travel trade non-profit the U.S. Travel Association has inked a pact with law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck to lobbying on Capitol Hill on issues related to Brand USA, the campaign that promotes overseas tourism to the U.S.
Founded in 2010 under the Travel Promotion Act, the public-private destination marketing organization faced the threat of having its funding eliminated under the Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal.
The USTA is pushing for a continued reauthorization of the U.S. travel marketing arm as the U.S. faces a decline in international arrivals. Inbound international travel to the U.S. has experienced a precipitous drop since President Trump’s inauguration, a trend that many travel industry pros have begun referring to as the “Trump Slump.”
A three-person team handles the USTA account: Brian McGuire, former chief of staff to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Brian Wild, former senior advisor to House Speaker John Boehner, deputy assistant for legislative affairs to Vice President Dick Cheney and chief of staff and legislative director for Congressman Pat Toomey (R-PA); and Elizabeth Gore, former chief of staff to Sen Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and legislative director to Rep Chet Edwards (D-TX).
The travel and tourism trade group in March hired lobbying firm Klein/Johnson Group for additional help with Brand USA appropriations.