Today the Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP) announced it has received financial commitments from the private sector to qualify for $22.2 million in matching federal contributions to execute the nation’s first-ever nationally coordinated international travel marketing program for the United States. The CTP is a public-private partnership, which is funded partially through private sector contributions and partially through funds collected by the Department of Homeland Security from international travelers who come to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. October 1 marked the start of the entity’s first full fiscal year and the first time federal funds were made available to the CTP to match private contributions raised.
“Today marks an important milestone for the CTP. The fiscal year is just beginning, and already we have solid commitments from the private sector, putting us well on our way towards activating the release of the full $100 million in federal matching funds available to us in FY’12,” said CTP CEO Jim Evans. “This first influx of funds will enable us to build and begin promoting the extraordinary power of ‘Brand USA’ in select markets around the world. We know there is still much work to be done to attract the significant private investmentwe require to execute our plans and deliver the maximum return to the business partners who are supporting this cause.”
The Travel Promotion Act of 2009, the federal legislation that created the CTP, established a funding structure that allows all private-sector funding, both cash and in-kind, to be matched 1:1 by the monies collected from the $10 Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) fee paid by visa waiver travelers. However, in the CTP’s first full fiscal year, which has now begun, the CTP will be funded based on a 2:1 match. Therefore, in FY’12, for every dollar collected from the private sector, two dollars will be contributed from the ESTA fund.
A key element of the CTP that is unique among national travel promotion programs is the business development component, which relies on the support of U.S. business. In addition to marketing, the CTP is responsible for garnering financial support to build a world-class travel promotion program for the most diverse country in the world from the ground up. Of the private investments that the CTP receives, no more than 80 percent of those may come from “in-kind” contributions of goods and services. To date, the CTP has received $4.1 million in commitments in cash, and $7 million in contributions “in-kind,” which can include anything from hotel stays and vacation giveaways to volunteer time focused on the CTP’s goals.
“Our business development team will be focused on creating innovative programs for private-sector investors and industry stakeholders that will generate the revenue to unlock federal funding and finance our marketing efforts,” said CTP Chairman and Chairman and CEO of Diamond Resorts International Stephen J. Cloobeck. “The CTP would not exist without the outstanding past efforts of the travel industry and its partners, and it will not succeed in growing the U.S. economy and creating new jobs without their continued financial and creative support moving forward.”