New legislation which will provide $50 million in matching grants to destination marketing organizations and their strategic partners has been introduced by Representative Sam Farr (D-California), co-chair of the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus. The bill is H. R. 4676, the Travel Regional Investment Partnership (TRIP) Act.
“This new piece of legislation is a perfect companion to the recently passed Travel Promotion Act, which provides critical resources to do international inbound marketing,” said NTA President Lisa Simon.
“Domestic tourism is a key part of the business of every destination. We know from our hundreds of destination marketing organization members that many of them are seeing budgets reduced due to lower appropriations and lower room tax collections in this challenging economy. Representative Farr’s bill will be a gigantic boost, creating an impact of $100 million in marketing and advertising throughout the United States.” Simon said.
The main purpose of the TRIP Act is to stimulate more jobs and revenue through domestic tourism. The bill authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to provide US$10 million annually in matching grants for five years to convention and visitor bureaus, state tourism offices and regional tourism organizations. These entities can work with others in the tourism sector in their proposals, which will be measured by job creation, travel expenditures and taxes generated.
NTA urges its members and strategic partners to contact their U.S. representatives to become co-sponsors of the bill. Representatives should contact Tom Tucker in Representative Farr’s office to be added to the co-sponsor list. Additional information can be obtained by contacting NTA Public Affairs Advocate Steve Richer at [email protected].
Matching grants for DMOs was one of the top legislative priorities identified at the December 2008 Economic Summit on Travel and Tourism held in Washington, D.C., with more than 40 travel sector organizations participating. The passage of the Travel Promotion Act was another of the top issues designated. Those priorities were sent to President Obama and the leaders of Congress at that time.