ASTA Meets With Commerce Department to Bolster Inbound Travel

washington dcThe American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) reports it met with senior executives of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) to discuss how the two can work together to stimulate inbound travel to the U.S. and facilitate travel generally.

“ASTA is proud to have nearly 800 international members who drive ‘inbound’ travel to the U.S., thus directly supporting U.S. efforts to recapture our historic share of worldwide overseas travel,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA president and CEO. “ASTA has a strong partner in the Department of Commerce, and we look forward to working with the department on a number of initiatives crucial to bolstering the travel industry and creating thousands of new jobs.” 

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One of those initiatives, ASTA said, is a closer collaboration between ASTA and Brand USA, whose mission is to increase international visitors to the U.S. and grow America’s share of the global travel market. The Department of Commerce also may collaborate on a potential ASTA-sponsored event later this year in Washington, D.C. for inbound travel sellers that could help the Administration achieve its travel and tourism goals.

The meeting with Isabel Hill and Julie Heizer, director and deputy director, respectively, of the OTTI, which is charged with enhancing the international competitiveness of the U.S. travel and tourism industry, was the latest in a series with the Administration to discuss travel and tourism policy, including a March 6 meeting with Ari Matusiak, special assistant to the president and White House director of private sector engagement, and a March 20 White House Business Council forum on travel and tourism. 

“ASTA came away from these meetings with the conviction that the Administration strongly supports the travel industry, and respects and understands the travel agent’s role in fueling the nation’s economy,” said Kerby. “We are here to remind them that travel professionals are working the frontlines to boost our economy, and to help our federal partners reach their travel and tourism policy goals,” he said.