Nevada senators sign on to legislation promoting tourism

Nevada’s senators have signed on to a bill to extend the Brand USA public-private partnership to promote tourism.

The Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act would reauthorize funding through 2020.

Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller are among the senators that co-sponsored the bipartisan legislation. A similar bill was introduced in the House.

Reid, D-Nev., was a key leader for passage of the Travel Promotion Act of 2010, which combines private donations with revenue generated by fees collected from international visitors arriving in the United States to fund Brand USA, which promotes tourism in the U.S.

Brand USA promotes the United States in the same way the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority boosts Southern Nevada.

The bill was introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and by Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., in the House because the funding of Brand USA is buried in stalled immigration legislation. Without reauthorization, Brand USA funding would end in September 2015.

Introduction of the bills was applauded by tourism marketing organizations nationwide.

An independent analysis by Oxford Economics recently estimated that in 2013, Brand USA generated 1.1 million additional international visitors that spent $3.4 billion in the United States.