- Table of Contents
- Full Issue in PDF
- Exports Play Vital Role in Supporting U.S. Employment
- Taking the Mystery and Fear Out of Trade
- Travel and Tourism Industry Gets Its Say
- Short Takes
- Trade Calendar
- Featured Trade Event: Trade Mission to Colombia and Panama
Travel and Tourism Industry Gets Its Say
On April 12, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke (center) met in Washington, D.C., with members of the newly rechartered U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)
On April 12, 2010, the newly rechartered U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board gave a diverse group of business leaders the opportunity to bring the concerns of their industry to the attention of a key policy-maker.
by John Ward
As the recent eruption of Iceland’s Mount Eyjafjallajökull and the subsequent disruption of international air travel into and out of much of Western Europe have shown, the travel and tourism industry is a critical player in the world economy. This is especially true in the United States, where, in 2009, the industry accounted for $1.3 trillion in receipts and supported 8.2 million jobs.
On April 12, 2010, a diverse group of travel and tourism leaders had the opportunity to underline the importance of their industry and voice their concerns about its future to the secretary of commerce, Gary Locke, when the newly rechartered U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) held its inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C.
Nominations Sought for Board of Directors of the Corporation for Travel Promotion
The Department of Commerce is inviting expressions of interest from individuals to serve on the initial board of directors of the Corporation for Travel Promotion. The corporation, which will be established pursuant to the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, will be a nonprofit entity that will communicate U.S. entry policies and promote leisure, business, and scholarly travel to the United States. Candidates for the board must have knowledge of international travel promotion and marketing and must possess expertise and experience in specific sectors of the travel and tourism industry. Details were published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2010 (75 FR 74, p. 20325). They are also available on the Web. The deadline for submission is May 10, 2010.
Bigger, More Diverse Membership
The new board currently has 29 members, all of whom are appointed by the secretary of commerce. That number nearly doubles that of the previous board, which had 15 members. The expansion was greeted as a positive change by the industry. “This will allow for an even greater diversity of companies and organizations from throughout the travel and tourism industry,” noted Helen Marano, director of the International Trade Administration’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. “It will bring to the table the knowledge and experience of companies of various sizes, from more geographic locations, that produce a wide range of products and services.”
After a swearing-in ceremony and introductory remarks from Rossi Ralenkotter, TTAB’s chair and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the members immediately focused on a variety of pressing issues. Those issues included the availability of business visas, transportation concerns, and research.
Some of the issues have been raised before. In 2009, for example, the previous board presented Locke with a policy review document outlining three concerns it identified as critical to the future health of the industry (see the July 2009 issue of International Trade Update). They were airport congestion and infrastructure, travel facilitation, and economic sustainability.
An Industry Voice
The TTAB was first established in 2003 and has been rechartered three times. According to the ITA’s Marano, “The board offers a terrific opportunity for the industry to put its issues on the table, before a cabinet secretary who is also a member of the president’s economic team.”
For more information on the TTAB, visit the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries’ Web site.
John Ward is a writer in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.
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