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August 1, 2003
  Contact: Trevor Francis
(202) 482-4883

Board to Direct International Marketing Campaign to Bring Tourists Back to United States

Commerce Secretary Don Evans today announced the creation of the United States Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board. The board will advise Secretary Evans on how best to increase the number of international visitors to the United States and ensure that the share of the country's international receipts continues to grow.

"President Bush is committed to reviving international travel to the United States because of the number of Americans who rely on this industry for jobs and because travel and tourism goes far toward strengthening and enhancing our relationships with our friends and allies around the world," said Evans. "This board represents talented and visionary experts in the U.S. travel and tourism industry and I am confident it will help us meet our goal of attracting more visitors to the United States and provide us guidance on how to better showcase the diversity of our nation's peoples, heritage, culture and destinations with the international marketplace."

The advisory board is comprised of 15 senior U.S. travel and tourism industry executives from across the Unites States. Nearly 130 candidates applied to be members of the board through a competitive process after a Federal Register notice was published. The selected members represent a bipartisan cross-section of the industry.

Earlier this year, President Bush approved a $50 million appropriation to create an international travel and tourism marketing and promotional campaign. The campaign will focus on four to six of the top markets that have historically sent travelers to the United States. The campaign will include market and evaluation research, consumer and trade advertising and promotional efforts focused on earned and unearned media. There also will be a matching grants program to support regional promotion efforts. The first meeting of the Board is scheduled for September 8, 2003 in New York City.

The U.S. travel and tourism industry is responsible for approximately 17 million direct and indirect travel-related jobs in the United States and is the fourth largest export for the U.S. economy. In 2002, travel and tourism to the United States generated $84 billion in exports.

"We've come along way since September 11, but much still needs to be done," Evans continued. "This industry is a key economic generator so it is important that we continue to be aggressive in restoring international travel to the United States."

For more information on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board, visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/about/us_promo_campaign/index.html.

***NOTE: List of U.S. Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board members attached***

United States Department of Commerce
Travel & Tourism Promotion Advisory Board

Manuel Cortez
President & CEO
Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
Las Vegas, Nevada

Charles A. Gargano
Chairman & CEO
Empire State
Development Corp
New York, New York

Noel Irwin Hentschel
Chairman & CEO
American Tours International
Los Angeles, California

William L. Hyde, Jr.
President & CEO
Ruth's Chris Steak House
Metairie, Louisiana

Jonathan Linen
Vice Chairman
American Express
New York, New York

Jeremy Jacobs
Chairman & CEO
Delaware North Co.
Buffalo, New York

J. W. Marriott, Jr.
Chairman & CEO
Marriott International, Inc.
Washington, DC

James A. Rasulo
Walt Disney Park & Resorts
Burbank, California

Henry Silverman
President & CEO
New York, New York

Manny Stamatakis
Board Member
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Barry Sternlicht
Chairman & CEO
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
White Plains, New York

Robert Taubman
Chairman & CEO
The Taubman Company
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Glenn Tilton
Chairman & CEO
United Airlines
Chicago, Illinois

Jonathan Tisch
Chairman & CEO
Loews Hotels
New York, NY

Chris von Imhof
Alaska International Airport Tourism Marketing Council
Girdwood, Alaska


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