A long-term recovery plan for the Gulf Coast released by U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus won support from U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow. The plan included several travel industry proposals that would spur recovery from the Gulf oil spill.
“The economic impact of the Gulf oil spill on travel and tourism in the region is a long way from being over,” Dow said. “We are gratified that Secretary Mabus has heard the travel community and recognizes the critical need for continuing funding for marketing travel and tourism to the Gulf region and greater transparency in how the funds are distributed. We also appreciate his acknowledgement of continuing perception problems for the region and his recommendation that funding guidelines should be structured to mitigate the long-term impacts on travel and tourism. Secretary Mabus’ recommendation that the Administration should lead efforts to develop a coordinated plan for further tourism promotion that responsible parties should fund is also welcome.
“We continue to believe that an investment in tourism promotion can provide a 15-to-1 return on investment in travel-related spending and bolster support for the 400,000 travel and tourism workers in the Gulf region,” Dow continued. “In fact, a study by Oxford Economics showed that a robust marketing campaign could prevent billions of dollars of economic damage to the region. The report outlined by Secretary Mabus demonstrates that he believes – as we do – that travel and tourism can lead the economic recovery in the Gulf.”
Dow said U.S. Travel will continue to work with Administration officials to ensure all possible resources are mobilized to minimize the impact workers in the Gulf region.