Key elements for a national strategy to promote and expand international and domestic travel within the United States were presented to the Obama Administration by the U.S. Travel Association and industry partners.
The 19-page policy paper was composed with broad industry input and highlights, U.S. Travel said and responded to President Obama's Executive Order for comments and recommendations on a national travel and tourism strategy.
"In our view, the Executive Order is an enormously important step forward for the enterprises we represent and for the future economic health of the United States. If we embrace policies to better promote travel to and within our country, we can attract a far greater share of the global business and leisure travel market. In no other sector of the U.S. economy is there such untapped growth potential in both the short- and long-term. As the Executive Order states, significant progress has already been made to increase the efficiency and security of travel to and within the United States; but these strides only underscore the many opportunities available to create jobs and spur economic growth, " the paper said.
The key recommendations include:
• improving the visa process;
• expanding the Visa Waiver Program;
• supporting international travel promotion;
• improving the entry experience at our international airports;
• increasing student and youth travel to the U.S.;
• improving the air travel screening and security process;
• accelerating travel-related infrastructure projects;
• boosting visitation at national parks; and
• improving capabilities to assist economic recovery following disasters.
"The travel industry appreciates the President's willingness to work together in developing a national strategy for travel and tourism," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.
Other national trade associations joining the U.S. Travel Association in response to the Federal Register notice request for comment on the President's Executive Order 13597 are:
• American Bus Association
• American Hotel & Lodging Association
• American Motorcyclist Association
• American Recreation Coalition
• American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)
• BEWI Productions, Inc.
• Business Travel Coalition
• Destination Marketing Association International
• Interactive Travel Services Association
• International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)
• International Franchise Association
• International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association
• Meetings Professionals International
• National Association of Sports Commissions
• National Park Hospitality Association
• National Parks Promotion Council
• National Tour Association
• National Tourism and Heritage Association
• Professional Association of Innkeepers International
• Receptive Services Association of America
• Site & Site International Foundation
• Society of Independent Show Organizers
• Student & Youth Travel Association
• TradeFair Group
• Travel Goods Association
• United Motorcoach Association
• United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA)
• Western States Tourism Policy Council (WSTPC)