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US Senate passes travel promotion act

After months of intensive discussions, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved S. 1661, the “Travel Promotion Act of 2007”. This important bipartisan bill…

After months of intensive discussions, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved S. 1661, the “Travel Promotion Act of 2007”. This important bipartisan bill acknowledges the importance of the travel industry to the economy of the United States and recognizes the need to continue moving forward with critical improvements to our visa and entry processes in order to promote and facilitate increased international travel to the United States.



S. 1661 would create the following:


  • A Corporation for Travel Promotion, an independent, non-profit corporation governed by a board of directors appointed by the Secretary of Commerce.



  • A Travel Promotion Fund, using funds generated by a Visa Waiver user fee as well as private industry contributions.



  • An Office of Travel Promotion with a new Under Secretary to develop programs to increase the numbers of international travelers to the United States. The Office would also coordinate activities with the Departments of State and Homeland Security to further improve the nation’s visa and entry processes for international visitors.


“The U.S. travel industry is grateful to the Senate Commerce Committee for its actions today in passing S. 1661, and we especially want to thank Chairman Inouye of Hawaii, Ranking Member Stevens of Alaska, and the Chairman of the subcommittee on Interstate Commerce, Trade, and Tourism, Senator Dorgan of North Dakota,” said Jonathan M. Tisch, Chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels and Chairman of the Travel Business Roundtable.



“These Senators and others demonstrated great leadership today in recognizing the need for the federal government and the private sector to work together to promote international travel to this nation in order to advance our public diplomacy goals and grow our economy by welcoming more international guests.”



“In passing S. 1661 the Senate Commerce Committee reaffirmed the critical importance of international travel to the United States, and the need not only to continue fixing remaining challenges with the visa and entry process, but to actually begin to issue an explicit welcome to prospective visitors all around the world,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO of the Travel Industry Association. “This is a critical step toward rolling out the welcome mat for international visitors and we applaud the Senate Commerce Committee for this action.”



Additional co-sponsors for S. 1661 are Senators Kerry (D-Massachusetts); Lautenberg (D-New Jersey); Pryor (D-Arkansas); Smith (R-Oregon); Ensign (R-Nevada); and Martinez (R-Florida).



“This program would fill a vital gap in our current strategies to attract more visitors, and it would pay for itself many times over,” said Jay Rasulo, Chairman of the Travel Industry Association and Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “It will also serve a larger national purpose, by helping America win hearts and minds around the world.”

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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