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NTA: New TRIP Act Will Boost Domestic TourismOctober 7, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
The Travel Regional Investment Partnership Act (TRIP) will help U.S. destinations promote domestic tourism, which supports 7.7 million domestic jobs and accounts for nearly 3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, the NTA reports, welcoming the introduction of the TRIP Act in the Senate.
“Supporting domestic travel is a bags-packed blueprint for creating jobs. We applaud the senators who recognized the relationship between tourism and jobs and sponsored this bill," said NTA President Lisa Simon.
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) introduced the legislation, co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Shumer (D-N.Y.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). The bill provides $10 million a year for five years in competitive grants to state tourism offices or local destination marketing organizations and their strategic partners to promote domestic tourism growth or create new domestic tourism markets.
“The key word is ‘domestic.’ It’s good for Americans traveling through America,” said Simon. “Just as the Travel Promotion Act has made it possible for U.S. destinations to attract international visitors, the TRIP Act does that for domestic travel. And this grant money will be available to all U.S. tourism organizations, regardless of size or location.”
When awarding the grants, ranging from $100,000 to $1 million, the U.S. Department of Commerce is authorized by the bill to give priority to regions with low contributions to tourism marketing.
“So many of our destinations’ marketing budgets have suffered severe cuts or even elimination,” said Simon. “These grants will provide a way to continue stimulating local economies through domestic tourism.”
Simon said that in all 50 states, domestic tourism accounts for the largest portion of travel, adding that the TRIP Act will be helpful to all NTA members involved in U.S. domestic travel.