United’s Glenn Tilton and Disney’s Bob Iger were named to President Obama’s new export council, a move that won approval of the U.S. Travel Association. Both executives are members of U.S. Travel’s Board of Directors. Iger is president and CEO of the Walt Disney Company and Tilton is president and CEO of United Airlines.
Reacting to a White House announcement that named the President's Export Council, Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel, praised Obama’s move— which is part of an effort by the U.S. to double exports over the next five years.
"As the President's Export Council begins its work, we strongly encourage the Administration to consider additional methods of attracting overseas travelers," Dow said. "A U.S. Travel analysis found that doubling arrivals from countries in the Visa Waiver Program would generate nearly $208 billion in spending for the U.S. economy and support more than 827,000 travel-related jobs. If the U.S. can double arrivals in five years from just three key emerging high-growth markets - Brazil, China and India - we would receive a total of $24 billion in export revenues that would support 206,300 travel-related jobs.
"President Obama's signing the Travel Promotion Act to establish the first-ever substantial U.S. promotion and communications program aimed at travelers from other countries was an important step in bolstering our export activities," Dow continued. "Increasing arrivals from countries that require a U.S. visa is more challenging, but it can be done by improving access to U.S. consulates, through the use of videoconferencing technology for visa interviews and increasing officers to conduct visa interviews."