The Senate agreed Tuesday to proceed to a tourism bill that is a priority for Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Nevada Democrat pushed the bill (S 1023) to the front of the agenda because of a decline in tourism that started after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks and has since been exacerbated by recession.
The measure would create a private company to advertise the United States as a tourist destination to foreigners. The company would be funded by private contributions matched by up to $100 million a year from the federal government. The bill also would establish assessments, including a $10-per-trip fee on foreign travelers, to help pay for the government's matching funds.
“Other countries around the world spend millions of dollars promoting their countries,” Reid said Monday. “The United States spends nothing. We should compete.”
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Cultural and Heritage Travelers: What Are They Thinking?
If you join the nation's first cultural and heritage traveler segmentation study, you'll be the first to know! Heritage Travel, Inc. is lead sponsor in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Other sponsors funding the study, conducted by Mandala Research, include Gourmet magazine, California, Florida, Virginia, AAA, and others.
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Introducing the Face of Travel
from the U.S. Travel Association
Paco Saldaña, an employee at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, is the Face of Travel. Elected by his peers, Paco Saldaña will serve as a travel industry spokesperson, talking to the media, policymakers and other stakeholders about the value of business and leisure travel. More
New Treasury Rules: Meetings Dodge a Bullet
from Meetings Net
The meetings and travel industry was generally hailing the new executive compensation rules issued by the U.S. Treasury Department on June 10 as a bullet dodged. The interim final rule, which is now in a 90-day public comment period, requires companies receiving Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to develop a company-wide policy for meetings, events, and other corporate travel expenses. More
Roger Dow Leads the Troops
from Successful Meetings
Roger Dow never expected the industry he holds so dearly, the travel industry, to become a war zone of its own, but that's exactly what happened at the end of last year after the AIG brouhaha. As president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Dow was once again leading the troops. The U.S. Travel Association rallied the industry and unleashed the "Meetings Mean Business" campaign defending meetings and events. And then, there was that meeting with President Barack Obama in March, pretty impressive for this self-proclaimed Jersey boy who admittedly "stumbled" into the travel industry. More.
House Passes Visa-Friendly Legislation
from Successful Meetings
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that will help the United States welcome more international visitors with an improved visa program, the U.S. Travel Association reported this week. The legislation, H.R. 2410—the "Foreign Relations Authorization Act"—includes a provision that will allow the secretary of state to conduct a two-year pilot program that uses secure, remote videoconferencing technology to conduct tourist visa interviews. More
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Federal Prying Will Run Deeper for Air Travelers
from the St. Louis Dispatch
Booking a flight is getting a little more personal these days. Under a new federal security program, all airlines will be required to ask for your name as it appears on your government-issued ID. Eventually, they also will ask for your date of birth and gender in an effort to bolster security and minimize the frequency of misidentifying passengers with people named on suspected terrorist lists.
Tourism Officials Worry Feds Have Travel Ban on Leisure Destinations
from the Orlando Sentinel
Is Orlando on a travel blacklist for federal agencies because coming here is too much fun? Tourism officials think that some sort of list exists. At the very least, they say, they're pretty sure some leisure destinations have been labeled as inappropriate for government meetings and other gatherings, regardless of price, because of potential image problems given the recession and ongoing financial crisis. More
You Need a Vacation!
Nearly half the respondents to a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll say they won't be traveling much this summer, up from 40 percent a year ago, when gas prices were near record highs. Those who will be traveling say they plan to take more day and weekend trips than longer, more exotic vacations. Many families will be taking stay-at-home vacations, opting to explore their own communities. Even in these economically challenging times, everyone deserves to have fun in the sun, and we can because there are so many things we can do that are completely free. More
U.S. Travel names '09 Hall of Leaders Inductees
from Travel Pulse
The U.S. Travel Association will induct three industry individuals into the U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders this year -- Adam Goldstein of Royal Caribbean, Andrew Taylor of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and the late Stevan Porter of InterContinental Hotel Group. The three will be honored at a dinner to be held in conjunction with the U.S. Travel winter board meeting in Irving, Texas, on Dec. 3. More
U.S. Travel Trade Mission to India in September
from the U.S. Travel Association
Network with the top travel agents, tour operators and airline representatives from Mumbai and New Delhi at U.S. Travel Association’s Indian Trade Mission, Sept. 8-12, 2009. Meet the experts face-to-face and learn how to increase inbound Indian travel to your market. Click here for more information and to download a registration form.