Friday, March 5, 2010

Tourism-The Economic Engine

The travel community celebrated a major victory today when President Obama signed into law the first-ever national travel promotion and communications program to attract more international travelers to the U.S. The historic moment, commemorated during a White House signing ceremony, is a major step in addressing America’s decline in attracting overseas visitors to the U.S. during the past decade.
The Act is in response to worrisome evidence that the U.S. is losing ground to other countries in the global travel market. The U.S. welcomed 2.4 million fewer overseas visitors in 2009 than in 2000, and the failure to simply keep pace with the growth in international long-haul travel since 2000 has cost the U.S. economy an estimated $509 billion in total spending and $32 billion in direct tax receipts, according to the U.S. Travel Association. The Travel Promotion Act will counteract this trend by creating a campaign to promote the United States as a premier destination and explain changing travel security policies to foreign visitors.

“By signing the Travel Promotion Act, President Obama has acted to support the power of travel to serve as an economic stimulant, job generator and diplomatic tool,” said Roger Dow, president & CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “This program will create tens of thousands of American jobs and help reverse negative perceptions about travel to the United States.”
Dow thanks President Obama and Congressional supporters of this legislation, in particular Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND), John Ensign (R-NV), Harry Reid (D-NV), Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Representatives Bill Delahunt (D-10-MA), Roy Blunt (R-7-MO) and Sam Farr (D-17-CA) who championed the bipartisan legislation over the last several years. “The strong bipartisan support for this bill clearly demonstrates consensus on the value of this tax-free stimulus for job creation and economic growth,” Dow said.

“We have already seen the benefits of a public-private partnership in states like California and Florida,” said Caroline Beteta, president & CEO, California Travel & Tourism Commission.
“Destinations and local communities across the country will benefit from a comprehensive national effort to market the U.S. A. brand. The Travel Promotion Act will help keep the United States competitive in the international marketplace.”
Oxford Economics estimates that a successful national promotion will yield $4 billion in new spending annually, create 40,000 new jobs and generate $321 million in new tax revenue each year. The Congressional Budget Office reported that the Travel Promotion Act would reduce the federal deficit by $425 million over ten years.

No comments: