Discover America and TIA Lobby for Increased International Tourism

The organizations on Wednesday unveiled a three-part plan to boost travel and tourism to the United States. Citing such statistics as a 17 percent decline in overseas travel to the U.S., the Discover America Partnership is concerned about what it deemed "a significant decline in business and leisure travel" to America and its impact on the nation's deteriorating image overseas. In response, the partnership suggested improving security and processing travelers more quickly, modernizing secure points of entry and working to change the perceptions of America that may turn off potential foreign visitors. The plan is estimated to cost $300 million, but is expected to return more than 190,000 jobs, $16.5 billion in new spending and $2.6 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. Meanwhile, the Department of Commerce awarded the Travel Industry Association a $3.9 million grant, spread out over two years, to build web sites promoting travel to the U.S. in multiple languages. TIA first will focus on sites in English and Japanese and then follow with sites targeting Mexico and Germany. Visit [www.poweroftravel.org].

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