U.S. Travel Offers New Website, Recaps Legislative GoalsDecember 17, 2009 By: Gideon Dean
U.S. Travel’s new website provides an improved platform to better communicate with members, industry watchers and other users of USTravel.org. Its presence rounds out the U.S. Travel brand created when Travel Industry Association and the Travel Business Roundtable joined forces at the start of 2009, the association said.
Content is organized within seven categories. Enhancements include an information-rich home page with travel industry news, the use of media and self-service features that permit members to provide updates, transact business and interact with one another through online forums.
Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel, offered a summary of U.S. Travel’s achievements and 2010 legislative goals. “When the Travel Industry Association and Travel Business Roundtable came together to form the U.S. Travel Association, we formed a campaign-oriented approach that emphasized collaboration across all industry segments and a unified voice," he said ."The results of U.S. Travel’s leadership speak for themselves."
* The Travel Promotion Act has gained two-thirds support of both the House and Senate and is close to final passage. The TPA will for the first time create a nationally coordinated promotion and communications program aimed at international travelers around the world and is estimated to bring in $4 billion in new spending at no cost to taxpayers
* Strengthened relationships with Congress and the new Administration has resulted from aggressive outreach, including the first-ever meeting of a dozen CEOs from major travel companies with the President
* Rapid and effective response to the demonization of meetings and incentive travel changed the attitude of policymakers and stemmed declines in the $100 billion business travel sector, while for the first time establishing the return on investment of business travel
* Immediate outreach to policymakers and the media during the swine flu outbreak prevented billions of dollars in losses suffered by the travel community in Mexico from happening in the U.S.;
* Expansion of the Visa Waiver Program from 27 to 35 countries resulted in up to 1 million more visitors to the U.S. annually, which will account for more than $4 billion in new spending annually;
* Launching a domestic version of the DiscoverAmerica.com website means there is now a one-stop shop for trip planning in the U.S. for Americans as well as international visitors from the five key inbound markets
* Partnering with Destination Marketing Association Internationalto create the Destination & Travel Foundation enables more relevant research and involvement in key issues of interest to the industry.
“We will continue to push for the interests of the travel community in creating policies that welcome more international visitors, improve the domestic air travel experience, position our industry as responsibly addressing environmental concerns, and in general promote travel as a critical component of the American economy,” Dow said.