After a major legislative success in getting the Travel Promotion Act passed, the U.S. Travel Association is now concerned that the act may fall by the wayside during current political squabbles in Congress over budget cuts and taxes.
In an alert to influential executives in the travel industry, U.S. Travel warned that, "House Republicans are threatening to eliminate the Corporation for Travel Promotion as a part of their “YouCut” campaign."
Roger Dow, president and CEO of U. S. Travel, noted that Congress established the Corporation for Travel Promotion, a private non-profit entity, in 2010 to create a marketing and promotion program that would help the U.S. compete for more visitors.
"Each week, spending cut proposals are posted on the YouCut website where citizens are able to vote for which government program to end. The cut with the most votes is then introduced as legislation and eventually gets an up or down vote in the House of Representatives. The Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP) is the latest program on the chopping block."
The Travel Promotion Act was the lead article on the site that is sponsored by Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
U.S Travel urged calls to Majority Leader Cantor to tell him, "that the Corporation reduces the deficit, does not use any taxpayer spending, increases exports and creates jobs that cannot be outsourced. Tell him not to eliminate the CTP!"
Representing Virginia’s 7th District, Cantor has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2001. In the wake of the 2010 midterm elections, he was elected by his colleagues in the House to serve as the Majority Leader for the 112th Congress.
U.S. Travel offered the Majority Leader's contact information and talking points on the issue. (Majority Leader Eric Cantor: (202) 225-4000)
Suggested talking points includes stating opposition to the inclusion of the Corporation for Travel Promotion on the You Cut website.
Other key points: "The Corporation for Travel Promotion is a private non-profit entity – not a new government program – projected to bring 1.6 million new international visitors each year to the United States, which means $4 billion in new spending, more than $300 million in new federal tax revenue annually, and 40,000 new U.S. jobs.”
U.S. Travel also urged callers to note that, "The Congressional Budget Office reported that the Corporation will actually reduce the federal deficit by $425 million over 10 years," and that the "Corporation is not funded by taxpayer money. It is funded with private contributions and a minimal user fee on foreign travelers. This is the type of "government" program that cost-cutting Republicans should embrace."
"Eliminating the Corporation for Travel Promotion would not cut spending and lower the deficit. Instead it would eliminate a program that actually raises revenue and lowers the deficit, “ U.S. Travel said.
U.S. Travel urged callers to ask Majority Leader Cantor to "take this proposal off of the YouCut website and ensure that the Corporation for Travel Promotion is maintained."
U.S. Travel said it will keep the industry updated on the developments of the proposal and may send out an updated alert if a bill to eliminate CTP is brought to a vote in the House of Representatives.
On February 25, 2010, the Senate passed the Travel Promotion Act with a strong bipartisan vote of 78-18, and President Obama signed it into law on March 4. The legislation creates a public-private partnership to promote the United States abroad and communicate directly with international travelers about U.S. entry policies and requirements.
The U.S. Travel Association said the program will combine private sector expertise with public sector accountability and will bring millions more travelers to the United States and go a long way toward creating new jobs just when America's economy needs them most.
Oxford Economics estimates are cited that a well-executed travel promotion program will yield 1.6 million new international visitors each year, equating to $4 billion in new spending and $321 million in new federal tax revenue annually.
Additionally, the Association notes the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the Travel Promotion Act will reduce the federal deficit by $425 million over 10 years.
“These will be no small accomplishments during a time when unemployment is at record highs, the economy remains on shaky grounds, and the national deficit continues to soar,” U.S.Travel said.