Despite the legislative crunch faced by Congress with the Wall Street bailout and the struggle for a viable energy policy, the Travel Industry Association (TIA) remains optimistic that the TIA sponsored Travel Promotion Act will win approval.
The TIA said that Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, became the 50th senator to co-sponsor S. 1661, the "Travel Promotion Act." The act would create a public-private partnership to better explain U.S. security policies and attract millions of additional overseas visitors to the country. A House companion bill, H.R. 3232, is co-sponsored by 245 members of the House of Representatives
"Congress understands that travel promotion will boost the economy and create thousands of new jobs," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of TIA. "With Senator Lugar's support, America is one step closer to improving its economy and strengthening its image in the world."
Nearly every developed nation in the world spends tens of millions of dollars to attract visitors, TIA says. Oxford Economics, an international economic consulting firm, estimates that a $100 million travel promotion program would yield $8 billion in new visitor spending and $850 million in new revenues annually.
The bill has been reported to the Senate floor by the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The House companion bill has been reported out of Subcommittee. A markup in the House Committee on Energy in Commerce is expected this week.