The Travel Industry Association (TIA) welcomed a recommendation issued by leading business and academic experts that the United States should launch an international promotion campaign to better communicate U.S. travel policies and attract more international visitors. The Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee (SBODAC), created by the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security in 2006, identified poor communication as one of the leading causes of the 17 percent decline in overseas visitation to the United States since September 11, 2001.
"The Travel Promotion Act," currently under consideration in the House of Representatives and Senate, is consistent with the SBODAC recommendation. Under this legislation, travel promotion is funded by private sector contributions and a maximum $10 fee on travelers from countries that are not required to pay $130 for a United States visa (i.e., countries enrolled in the Visa Waiver Program). At no cost to the American taxpayers, Oxford Economics estimates that a travel promotion campaign would yield millions of new visitors, $8 billion per year in new visitor spending and $850 million in new federal tax revenue. (DB)