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Legislation Introduced to Market Travel to the U.S.

June 25, 2007 By: Dan Butcher Travel Agent

Senators Byron Dorgan, Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye have introduced legislation to create an international marketing campaign to promote America. It would create a public-private partnership providing matching funds of up to $100 million annually that would be added to money spent by travel industry interests to promote the U.S. around the world. The marketing program would be administered through a nonprofit Corporation for Travel Promotion that would report to the Department of Commerce and be overseen by a board of 14 travel industry leaders.  Roger Dow, president and CEO of TIA

"This is a huge opportunity for America and our
travel industry," wrote Roger J. Dow, president and CEO of the Travel
Industry Association, in a press release. "With this legislation, if our
industry can raise less than one-tenth of one percent of what we receive from
international visitors each year, our country will have $200 million each year
to change perceptions of America
around the world and compete with other countries for travelers."
Department of Commerce figures show international travelers spent $107 billion
in the U.S.
last year.

The legislation proposes the following: creation of an Under
Secretary of Commerce for Travel Promotion; establishment of a fee to be
collected through an electronic travel authorization process on travelers from
visa waiver countries, which would provide money to the government matching
program; in fiscal 2009, the international travel promotion fund would be
comprised of two dollars in government funds for every dollar contributed by
the travel industry entities. Thereafter, it would become a one-to-one match.
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