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Industry Leaders Hail Value of Travel Act

February 26, 2010 By: George Dooley

Senate approval of the Travel Promotion Act won strong approval from travel industry leaders who stressed the opportunities for growth, jobs and new revenues. Noteworthy are the number of state and city convention and visitors bureaus who could benefit from implementation of the act.

"The Travel Promotion Act is significant legislation for the travel and tourism industry and our country as a whole. As America's gateway city and top travel destination in 2009, NYC welcomed 45.5 million visitors generating an estimated $30 billion in economic impact. The TPA will only encourage more visitors from around the globe to NYC and thousands of other American destinations-strengthening our economy and supporting an estimated 40,000 new jobs nationwide." - George Fertitta, CEO, NYC & Company.

“This program will go a long way toward creating new jobs and economic growth for New Orleans and other cities across the country. We are absolutely thrilled to see it become a reality.” - Stephen Perry, President & CEO, New Orleans Conventions and Visitors Bureau.

“The Travel Promotion Act is a significant step in the right direction for our national and local economies.This new program will bring critical international tourist dollars to our hotels, attractions, restaurants and transportation providers… and all of the 160,000 men and women whose jobs depend on travel in thePhoenix area.” - Steve Moore, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“As a major port of entry for foreign travelers, this bill is extremely important to our economy. San Francisco is ready to welcome more visitors and promoting America is the first step in that equation.” - Joe D’Alessandro, President & CEO, San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“The Travel Promotion Act is what this economy needs right now – in Michigan and throughout the United States. Travel employs 7.7 million Americans whose jobs cannot be outsourced, and more international tourism means more American jobs.” - George Zimmermann, Vice President, Travel Michigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“Travel is the backbone of the economy in cities across the country and no more is that evident than Las Vegas. The program will allow the United States to be more competitive with other countries to attract international travelers. It will stimulate the economy and create jobs, all at no cost to the American taxpayer. We appreciate the vision and leadership of Congress and the administration in recognizing the importance of the tourism industry to the national economy." - Rossi Ralenkotter, President & CEO, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority.

“This is common sense legislation that we have needed for years to compete in a growing international travel marketplace. International visitors are essential for the well-being of Orlando businesses and employees, and we thank our Members of Congress for making the Travel Promotion Act and its mission a reality.”- Gary Sain, President & CEO, Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.

“Big cities and small towns across America depend on travel and the opportunity to host foreign visitation. The Travel Promotion Act is a great effort by our lawmakers to stimulate our economy and improve perceptions of America across the world.” - Tim Roby, President & CEO, Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, Inc.

Myrtle Beach has supported the need for a nationally coordinated campaign to promote America as a destination for years. We need more foreign travelers to understand what America has to offer and how to get here, even with enhanced security measures in place.”- Brad Dean, President, Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“This is a great day for travel in rural America.” - Diane Shober, Director, Wyoming Office of Travel & Tourism.

“Travel has the potential to open minds and hearts to other people and cultures. Not only will the Travel Promotion Act stimulate our economy and boost our economic recovery, it will encourage more citizens of the world to come see what we are all about.”- J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, Inc.

“Today, America extends a heartfelt ‘Welcome’ to the rest of the world. The Travel Promotion Act will enhance our nation’s status as a premiere destination in the competitive global tourism market and ensure job creation. It is a great example of the innovative solutions government and industry can create when they work together toward a common goal.”- James Rasulo, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, The Walt Disney Company and Past National Chair, U.S. Travel Association.

“We are excited to welcome new visitors to Florida as a result of the Travel Promotion Act, and are confident that this public-private partnership on the national scale will be as successful as our partnership here in Florida has been.” - Chris Thompson, President & CEO, Visit Florida.

“Passage of the Travel Promotion Act is critical for the state of Maryland. Majority Leader Hoyer’s leadership on this important legislation will go a long way in helping to secure more jobs for Maryland’s growing tourism economy.” - Margot Amelia, Executive Director, Maryland Office of Tourism Development.

“The travel industry provides thousands of jobs to the Los Angeles area and will be a major factor for helping to spur job growth and rejuvenate LA’s economy. As chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Congressman Henry Waxman has played a critical role in ensuring final passage of the Travel Promotion Act.” - Mark Liberman, President and CEO, LA INC. The Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“Congressman Bennie Thompson understands the importance of balancing our nation’s security with facilitating legitimate travel and tourism. America’s homeland and economic security will be strengthened by the passage of the Travel Promotion Act, and we thank Congressman Thompson for playing a leading role to secure the bill’s final passage.”- Mary Beth Wilkerson, Director, Mississippi Development Authority, Tourism Development Division.

“By promoting our country abroad, we will have the chance to show all the varied places and experiences the United States has to offer. Senator Rockefeller’s vigorous support of this legislation as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee will have an outstanding impact on the tourism industry in West Virginia and beyond.” - Betty Carver, Commissioner, Department of Commerce, West Virginia Division of Tourism.

“Congressman Delahunt’s hard work to help pass this legislation demonstrates a strong commitment to our businesses, workers and communities on the Cape that depend so heavily on tourism.” - Wendy Northcross, CEO, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

“Congressman Blunt’s unwavering support of the Travel Promotion Act speaks to his dedication to small businesses and attractions. This common-sense legislation couldn’t be timelier for businesses in Missouri and across the country that rely on tourists.”- Peter Herschend, Co-Owner & Co-Founder, Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation.

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By George Dooley | February 26, 2010
Senate approval of the Travel Promotion Act won strong approval from travel industry leaders who stressed the opportunities for growth, jobs and new revenues.
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