The National Tour Association (NTA) said it is encouraged by Senator Barack Obama's comments to the Orlando Sentinel that he is open to travel marketing if it can be demonstratively proven that it produces measurable results. NTA has been a consistent advocate of increasing travel to the U.S. from abroad.
“We accept Senator Obama's invitation to prove the effectiveness of travel marketing by the U. S. government,” said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher. “We look forward to partnering with him to increase the economic impact, job creation, and favorable international balance of trade payments by documenting results, which other nations have already seen and embraced."
Because of the current economy and value of the dollar, the U.S. should be an attractive international destination. NTA is stressing that the country should capitalize on this opportunity to welcome overseas guests for economic gains and because it believes travel can "change the perception of America and Americans worldwide.”
“Just imagine the results that a consistent marketing and branding campaign could achieve,” said Hoelscher. “Travel and tourism brings more than $699.8 billion to the U.S. economy and employs 17 million Americans. Yet, the U.S. is the only major industrialized country that does not have a strong tourism presence within the national government. As a result of this inattention, we are losing international travel market share and perpetuating an unwelcoming attitude toward international travelers.”