The Corporation for Travel Promotion named Jim Evans, a longtime leader in the hospitality industry, its first CEO. Evans will be responsible for leading the Corporation's efforts to promote the United States as a travel destination and strengthen the U.S. tourism industry. Each overseas visitor to America spends an average of $4,000 per trip on hotels, restaurants, attractions, retail and other activities.
"I congratulate Jim on his appointment as the first CEO of the newly created Corporation for Travel Promotion," U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. "Promoting tourism is an important part of the President's National Export Initiative and the overall U.S. economy, and we are fortunate to have Jim's leadership in growing this industry. I look forward to working with him to bring more visitors to our country."
"After considering dozens of candidates, Jim stood out to us as one of the most accomplished executives in the industry today, and he is the Board's unanimous choice to build America's first national program to attract international travel," said Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Corporation for Travel Promotion. "Jim's deep knowledge and decades of leadership in the travel industry are exactly what we need to build this organization."
"Attracting more international travelers to the U.S. will benefit the industry and our country by creating jobs, growing exports and spurring economic growth," said Evans. "I am proud and excited to serve the travel industry – and our country – in carrying out this important mission."
Evans has decades of experience leading and developing businesses in the travel industry. His experience includes serving as President and CEO of Best Western International, CEO of Jenny Craig and Senior Vice President of Marketing of Hyatt Hotels. He will be introduced to the industry at the International Pow Wow in San Francisco, May 21-25.
The Travel Promotion Act, which created the Corporation for Travel Promotion, was signed into law in 2010 in order to help the U.S. capture a greater share of the global travel market. Once it is implemented, the entity will have a budget of up to $200 million, with half of the funding coming from the private sector and no cost to U.S. taxpayers. The program will be responsible for using advertising and other marketing tactics to help increase visitor spending in the U.S.