What is the Travel Promotion Act?

On October 7, 2009, the U. S. House passed the "Travel Promotion Act" (H.R.1035) with strong bipartisan support. The purpose of this legislation, which creates a public/private partnership, is "to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and better explain U.S. security policies."

When the International Olympic Committee met to choose the host city for the 2016 Summer Games, Chicago was very quickly eliminated in the first round of voting. This is a resounding referendum of how the rest of the world perceives international travel to the United States. IOC members told President Obama that "foreign visitors find traveling to the United States 'a pretty harrowing experience.'"

Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, stated, "It's clear the United States still has a lot of work to do to restore its place as a premier travel destination."

The Travel Promotion Act, which had already passed in the U.S. Senate, creates a promotions and communications program aimed at foreign visitors. "We need to take seriously the challenge of reforming our entry process to ensure there is a welcome mat to our friends around the world, even as we ensure a secure system," Dow explains.

The Travel Promotion Act is modeled after successful state-level programs. When it becomes law it is expected to also strengthen the U.S. economy. The legislation is estimated to create 40,000 new U.S. jobs, as well as stimulate $4 billion in new consumer spending. And according to Oxford Economies, a further bonus is the reduction of the federal budget deficit by $425 million over the next ten years based on the fact that foreign visitors spend an average of $4,500 per person per trip to the U.S.

"The Travel Promotion Act is an important step in making sure international travelers know we want them to visit our country," Dow said.

This positive exposure to U.S. travel can also strengthen the desirability of timeshare rental for international visitors.
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