The U.S. Travel Association is continuing its push to obtain passage of pro-travel industry legislation and reports that S. 1023, the Travel Promotion Act, now has the support of half the U.S. Senate. The bill will create thousands of new jobs and spur economic growth by attracting millions of additional international travelers to the country, U.S Travel says.
Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT), ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, are the 50th and 51st senators to support the legislation.
"We are grateful to Senator Bennett, Senator Specter and the rest of the cosponsors for their bipartisan commitment to create thousands of new jobs and add billions to the U.S. economy by supporting the Travel Promotion Act," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "We encourage the Senate to capitalize on the bill's momentum and vote to pass it as soon as possible."
The Travel Promotion Act, introduced by Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and John Ensign (R-NV) and co-sponsored by an additional 48 senators from both sides of the aisle, creates a public-private partnership to promote the U.S. as a premier international travel destination and communicate security and entry policies. The bill specifies that travel promotion would be paid for— at no cost to U.S. taxpayers— by private sector contributions and a modest fee on foreign travelers who do not pay $131 for a visa.
Overseas visitors spend an average of $4,500 per person, per trip in the U.S. Oxford Economics estimates that a well-executed promotion program would attract 1.6 million new international visitors and would generate $4 billion in new economic stimulus as well as $321 million in new federal tax revenue each year.
The U.S. Travel Association estimates that this program would create nearly 40,000 new jobs in the first year. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office reports estimates that the Travel Promotion Act will reduce the federal budget deficit by $425 million over 10 years. A House companion bill, H.R. 2935, is co-sponsored by 41 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.