Senators Byron Dorgan, Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye have introduced legislation to create an international marketing campaign to promote America. It would create a public-private partnership providing matching funds of up to $100 million annually that would be added to money spent by travel industry interests to promote the U.S. around the world. The marketing program would be administered through a nonprofit Corporation for Travel Promotion that would report to the Department of Commerce and be overseen by a board of 14 travel industry leaders.
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The legislation proposes the following: creation of an Under Secretary of Commerce for Travel Promotion; establishment of a fee to be collected through an electronic travel authorization process on travelers from visa waiver countries, which would provide money to the government matching program; in fiscal 2009, the international travel promotion fund would be comprised of two dollars in government funds for every dollar contributed by the travel industry entities. Thereafter, it would become a one-to-one match. For more information, visit www.tbr.org and www.tia.org.