Congressional Travel & Tourism Caucus Urges Bush to Host Travel and Tourism Conference

Last week Representatives Sam Farr (D-CA) and Jon C. Porter (R-NV), co-chairs of the Congressional Travel & Tourism Caucus, sent a letter to President Bush urging him to host a White House Conference on Travel and Tourism in the spring of 2008. An excerpt from their letter reads: "The tragedy of September 11 has resulted in a 20% decline in overseas travel, which means $93.9 billion in loss of spending, $15.6 billion loss of tax receipts, $25.9 billion in loss of payroll, and 194,000 lost jobs. We need to turn the corner and reform U.S. policy to promote legitimate international travel to the U.S. and stimulate domestic tourism in all 50 states. The best way to do that is to bring the nation's travel and tourism industry--not only the large trade associations like the Travel Industry of America and the Travel Business Roundtable, but also the mom-and-pop tourism--dependent businesses that make up the fabric of every community in the United States--together under the leadership of the White House. We think you would find enthusiastic and widespread support from an industry that is an economic engine of our economy [sic], and that is uniquely capable of presenting the best face of America.... Now more than ever, it is important to develop a National Tourism Strategy that "grows" the economic power of the travel and tourism industry, one that not only ensures a seamless American travel experience from entry to exist, but also promotes and facilitates international travel to the United States. As such, we would like t work with the White House in developing and holding a Conference on Travel and Tourism in the spring of 2008. We look forward to your comments and suggestions."