Even though Brand USA is allowed to spend $200 million annually—with funds coming from private sector contributions and proceeds of a $10-per-visitor fee charged to travelers to the U.S. from Visa Waiver nations—Brand USA is broke. A large staff, high rents, slow and costly response times, high fees charged by its ad and research agencies and a recently discovered accounting error resulting from a misplaced decimal point in the agency’s latest quarterly financial report, has prompted an ad hoc committee of travel and tourism industry experts to develop a program of quick-cash fundraising events.
So far, the Unbound Report has learned, the Top Four promising list of projects, to be launched formally in June includes:
- Nationwide bake sale during National Travel and Tourism Week.
- Car Washes outside IMAX movie theatres screening the “National Park Adventure.”
- Visit USA Committee-sponsored bingo games in the more than 30 countries that have Visit USA Committees;
- A Brand USA Volunteer Brigade that will raise cash by staffing kettles and ringing bells outside major USA gateway airports; and an a fundraising telethon over the Independence Holiday Weekend led by Rosanne Cash and LL Cool J.
(Remember, this “news” is published in the spirit of April Fools Day 2016, which is today.)