Entertainment CEO Says Travel Key to Curbing Trade Deficit; Calls on U.S. Policymakers to Remain Committed to Brand USA
NEW YORK, June 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Jim Murren, chief executive officer of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), speaking at today's NYU Hospitality Conference, and in an opinion piece on CNN.com, called on U.S. policymakers to remain committed to Brand USA, the first and only organization specifically dedicated to promoting the U.S. as a travel destination to prospective international visitors. The President's proposed 2018 budget would eliminate funding for the organization.
"Travel is America's largest services export – higher than financial services – and supports one of every nine U.S. jobs – jobs which can never be shipped overseas," said Murren. "By 2025, international travelers are expected to grow to more than 1.8 billion. America cannot afford to lose our rightful share of that market and the jobs it supports to competitors."
International travel plays a key role in reducing America's trade deficit. Last year, international visitors generated $246 billion in travel exports, creating an $87 billion travel trade surplus. According to a recent study by Oxford Economics, over the last four years Brand USA has attracted 4.3 million incremental visitors; $13.6 billion in related spending; and $29.5 billion in total economic impact, including nearly $3.9 billion in federal, state and local taxes. The program is funded entirely by fees from international visitors plus matching funds from the private sector.
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company opened MGM National Harbor in Maryland on December 8, 2016, and is in the process of developing MGM Springfield in Massachusetts. MGM Resorts controls and holds a 76 percent economic interest in the operating partnership of MGM Growth Properties LLC (NYSE: MGP), a premier triple-net lease real estate investment trust engaged in the acquisition, ownership and leasing of large-scale destination entertainment and leisure resorts. The Company also owns 56 percent of MGM China Holdings Limited (SEHK: 2282), which owns MGM MACAU and is developing MGM COTAI, and 50 percent of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA Resort & Casino. MGM Resorts is named among FORTUNE® Magazine's 2016 list of World's Most Admired Companies®. For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company's website at www.mgmresorts.com.
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