Skift Take

Brand USA needs to be scrupulous about its spending and fund-raising practices. The Heritage Foundation and the right are licking their lips over any missteps.

The right-wing Heritage Foundation, reiterating recent claims by GOP senators, accused Brand USA of “waste and abuse,” argued that its under-fire spending and matching-fund practices do little to further the group’s travel-marketing goals.

It is clear the Heritage Foundation and its Congressional allies want to make public-private Brand USA, which is assigned to promote the U.S. internationally as an attractive tourism destination, a political piñata.

Of course, the Heritage Foundation as far back as 2009 opposed the Travel Promotion Act and the whole Brand USA concept.

As is its practice, the Heritage Foundation on October 10 emphasized its time-worn theme that the private sector wields a monopoly on efficiencies.

“Rather than continuing government-led travel promotion measures, Congress should leave the promotion of tourism to the private sector,” notes the Heritage Foundation Issue Brief. “Instead, Congress and the Administration should focus on making it easier, safer, and more efficient for travelers to come to the U.S by improving U.S. visa services and expanding the Visa Waiver Program, the very program that is helping to fund Brand USA’s misguided efforts.”

Brand USA launched marketing campaigns in the UK, Canada and Japan several months ago, and claims strides in articulated traveler intent to visit the U.S.

The organization has come under intense scrutiny, though, for its spending and fund-raising practices, and counters that it is striving to keep overhead costs under 15%.

Here is the Heritage Foundation report in full:

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Tags: brand usa, marketing, usa

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