The travel community is uniquely positioned to help President-elect Obama revitalize the economy and strengthen America's image abroad, said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the Travel Industry Association (TIA), in a statement following Obama’s electoral victory.
"America's travel community congratulates President-elect Obama and pledges our support to the new administration as it tackles two of the most daunting challenges facing America today: improving the U.S. economy and strengthening America's image in the international community,” Dow said. "The American economy is dependent on travel. The industry employs one out of every eight U.S. workers, drives more than $700 billion in spending and is a major economic force in each of the 50 states. The small- and medium-sized businesses that make up more than 90 percent of America's travel community can trigger the kind of bottom-up economic growth and job creation that will put this economy back on track.
"Travel is also uniquely capable of helping America win hearts and minds around the world," Dow continued. "The international business people, students and tourists who visit the United States each day are America's most effective diplomats. Those who have visited the United States are 74 percent more likely to have a favorable opinion of America and its policies than those who have not. Nine in ten travelers who visit the United States tell their friends and neighbors about their experience.
"TIA has a positive agenda for change that includes modernizing America's infrastructure and travel processes, creating jobs and improving the nation's energy security," Dow said. "We look forward to working closely with President-elect Obama to achieve these goals and build a stronger America."
In addition to the TIA, the National Tour Association (NTA) is eager to begin working with the future president as well. The NTA announced that leaders of the travel and tourism sector of the national economy will convene December 16 to share ideas and prepare recommendations to assist Obama. The goal is to accelerate the economy through travel and tourism, according to the NTA). The outcomes will be presented to President-elect Obama, his transition team, and key members of Congress following a meeting in Washington, D.C.
A broad cross-section of travel and tourism leaders has been invited to be a part of creating workable solutions for the struggling economy. The participation of more than 20 organizations has been confirmed, including leaders representing packaged travel, lodging, travel agents, cruise lines, ground transportation, air transportation, and special interest travel, according to the NTA, which is managing the effort.
“NTA believes it is the duty of the travel and tourism sector of the national economy to step up immediately and deliver recommendations to President-elect Obama on how travel and tourism can stimulate the national economy,” the NTA said. "As a first step, this cross-section of travel leaders has been invited to submit ideas and convene to develop the recommendations.”
“We believe it is critical to equip President-elect Obama and his administration with the ways in which travel can fuel the U.S. economy,” said NTA President Lisa Simon, “We know that travel and tourism is a way to quickly inject new jobs, new income and new tax revenues into our national economy. We simply need a unified plan to make it happen.”
The NTA said strategic
partners and leaders within the travel and tourism sector have been
asked to prepare their policy and cooperative marketing ideas, share
them in advance with the entire group and then attend the summit in
Washington, D.C. The NTA hopes plans can be prioritized and coordinated
into pragmatic solutions to assist the economic recovery within the
The travel and tourism sector of the national economy contributes $700 billion to the United States annually.