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Blog Entries from November 19, 2010

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Web Chat with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke

This afternoon, Secretary Locke participated in a live, online web chat hosted by the White House as part of its “Open for Questions” series to help commemorate National Entrepreneurship Week. Questions were submitted through the Fast Company website and the White House blog, and discussion focused on the administration's role in promoting innovation-based, high-growth entrepreneurship.

Watch this video and many others on the White House video page.

September Marks the Fifth Consecutive Month of Double-Digit Travel and Tourism Export Growth

Graph of Change in U..S. Travel and Tourism-Related ExportsInternational travelers spent nearly $12 billion in the U.S. in September

According to newly released data from the Commerce Department, international visitors traveling to the United States pumped an estimated $11.7 billion into the U.S. economy during the month of September, up $1.7 billion compared to the same period last year.  This marks the fifth month of double-digit growth and ninth straight month of overall growth in U.S. travel and tourism exports.  Total travel and tourism-related exports have increased, on average, $1.2 billion a month in 2010. 

“Travel and tourism continues to be one of the bright spots in our economy,” Locke said.  “Continued growth in the tourism sector will help us achieve our goal of doubling exports over the next two years.” 

  • Travel Receipts: Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $9.0 billion during September, an increase of 15 percent when compared to last year. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel. 
  • Passenger Fare Receipts: Fares received by U.S. carriers (and U.S. vessel operators) from international visitors increased by nearly 27 percent to $2.7 billion for the month, an increase of $575 million when compared to September 2009.

International visitors have spent an estimated $100 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date (January through September), an increase of 11 percent when compared to the same period last year.

Americans have spent nearly $77.4 billion abroad year-to-date (up four percent)—resulting in a $22.6 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism through the first nine months of 2010.

Secretary Locke Delivers Remarks at Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Annual Business and Leadership Conference

Secretary Locke receives recognition from the LGBT Chamber for his work

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) business owners and entrepreneurs today at the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) 7th Annual National Business and Leadership Conference. Locke emphasized the strong partnership between the Obama administration and the NGLCC to advance issues important to the LGBT community, and highlighted a Memorandum of Understanding that he will sign to deepen the relationship between the Department of Commerce and the Chamber and expand opportunities for all LGBT businesses.

Locke also discussed the administration’s efforts to create jobs and promote economic growth by fostering innovation and boosting exports through President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports over the next five years in support of several million American jobs. 

The three-day conference, “Out for Business!” includes business symposiums, keynote speakers, panel discussions and various special events that work to connect local and national LGBT businesses with NGLCC's corporate partners to expand opportunities for growth. The NGLCC is the business advocate and direct link between LGBT business owners, corporations and government. It represents the interests of more than 1.4 million LGBT-owned businesses, partners with 125 corporations, and is the umbrella organization for 61 state, local and international LGBT chambers of commerce and businesses.  Remarks