Jay Rasulo To Be Inducted Into TIA Hall of Leaders

Jay Rasulo, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, will be inducted into the Travel Industry Hall of Leaders during the Marketing Outlook Forum, an annual conference run by the Travel Industry Association (www.tia.org).

Distinguished individuals are named to the Hall of Leaders for "sustained, noteworthy contributions that have positively impacted the travel industry, stimulated greater achievement and raised industry-wide standards."

As part of Rasulo's induction, a video tribute will be shown featuring some of the most recognizable proponents of the travel industry, including former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge; Bill Marriott, chairman/CEO of Marriott International; former Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy/Public Affairs Karen Hughes; and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The event will be held tonight at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, as part of the TIA Odyssey Awards.

During Rasulo's two years as national chair of TIA, he called on the industry to create a blueprint for success that would be the equivalent of an "Apollo project" to improve marketing the U.S. as an international destination and send a more welcoming message to international travelers. His efforts included the creation of the Discover America Partnership, which helped expand the Visa Waiver Program; reform visa and entry processes; and create model airports to improve the arrival process for international visitors.

Under Rasulo's leadership, TIA also entered a public-private partnership with the U.S. government that created DiscoverAmerica.com (www.DiscoverAmerica.com), the first-ever official travel and tourism website of the United States. Last year, Rasulo spearheaded the creation of a multimedia experience including a video titled, "Welcome: Portraits of America." The video was donated to the Departments of State and Homeland Security for use at major U.S. international airports, and at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.

"We are the touch point with people around the world,” said Rasulo. “We connect travelers with new adventures and experiences. We possess the means to enrich lives and bring cultures together."

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