The board of directors for the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) has unanimously endorsed the National Tour Association's (NTA) call for an executive office of travel and tourism policy. The two associations believe a government investment in tourism, through the creation of this federal position, is an investment in the well-being of the U.S. economy and global image.
“NTA made this a top advocacy priority for the association in 2008,” said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher. “Because of the presidential election this year, NTA and its allied associations are working to emphasize the importance of travel and tourism to the candidates. By working together, we will bring a strong voice for tourism to intergovernmental issues while demonstrating a commitment to safe and secure travel.”
“The policies affecting the U.S. travel economy has never had a strong presence in the government,” said USTOA President Bob Whitley. “This would be a major milestone for strengthening the travel economy."
In a statement, the NTA said an executive office of travel and tourism policy position would serve as a strong voice for tourism in intergovernmental issues while demonstrating a commitment to safe and secure travel.
This position would promote travel and tourism to the U.S., have a voice in ensuring that travel is safe and secure, and coordinate positive attention to the U.S. at a time when its image is suffering. The residual effects of positive goodwill will be felt in all industries, the NTA said. NTA and USTOA will work with other industry groups supporting the creation of an executive office and provide a strong voice for tourism in Washington, D.C.