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November 2, 2005
  Contact: Matt Englehart
(202) 482-3809

Board to Advise on the International Campaign to Bring Tourists to the United States

Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez today announced the membership of the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The board will advise Secretary Gutierrez on how to best increase the number of international visitors to the United States and ensure that the share of the country's international receipts continues to grow. The board will also advise Secretary Gutierrez on the creation of a national tourism policy.

"Travel and tourism plays a critical role in creating U.S. jobs, adding nearly $94 billion to our economy last year," said Gutierrez. "The private-sector experts serving on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Board will provide important advice on increasing visitation to the United States and help create a national tourism policy to showcase the diversity of our people, culture and destinations."

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

James A. Rasulo, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, will continue to serve as Chairman of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman and CEO of the Carlson Companies, will serves as the Vice Chair.

"Travel and tourism is one of America's most vital industries - creating millions of jobs, billions in economic revenue, and helping to communicate America's story to the rest of the world," said Chairman Rasulo. "The United States Travel and Tourism Board's task is to help America seize these tremendous opportunities by winning a greater share of the growing world tourism market. We look forward to partnering with government on the creation of a national tourism strategy to achieve this important goal."

In 2003, a $6 million Congressional appropriation created an international travel and tourism marketing and promotional campaign in the United Kingdom, the top overseas source market for travelers to the United States. The campaign included market and evaluation research, consumer and trade advertising, and promotional efforts focused on earned and unearned media. Cooperative marketing opportunities added another $2 million to the value of the campaign, involving over 80 businesses. In 2006, the Commerce Department will conduct a similar campaign that will include Japan as well as the United Kingdom.

The U.S. travel and tourism industry is the largest services sector export for the U.S. economy, responsible for nearly eight million travel-related jobs in the United States. In 2004, the United States experienced the first year of double-digit percentage growth in international arrivals since 1992.
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 is a separate attachment***

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