The Travel Industry Association (TIA) praised President-elect Obama for his choice of Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) as his nominee for Secretary of Commerce and pledged to work with Richardson on smart policies to boost the U.S. travel economy and strengthen America's image.
"America's travel community is pleased that a leader of Governor Richardson's caliber has been selected to head a cabinet department that is positioned to play such a critical role in revitalizing the U.S. economy," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the TIA. "America's $1.8 trillion travel economy employs one out of every eight U.S. workers in domestic jobs that cannot be outsourced. Governor Richardson understands that travel and tourism is an economic engine for America's state and local economies and is a significant source for jobs. We are optimistic that, as Secretary of Commerce, Governor Richardson will demonstrate the same active support for travel promotion he exemplified as Governor of New Mexico. From his previous experience as an accomplished diplomat, Governor Richardson also recognizes the major public diplomacy benefits of international travel to the United States. The people-to-people diplomacy enabled by travel is one of America's most effective means of strengthening our image in the world."