As our economy continues to recover from the worst recession in memory, families in communities across America remain focused on what else can be done to spur job creation. Today was an important day for them.
This afternoon, President Obama announced a task force to develop a National Travel & Tourism Strategy, which will be co-chaired by Secretary Bryson, and he signed a corresponding Executive Order that will make it easier for international visitors to travel to America. That’s important because those visitors help create jobs by spending money in our stores, eating in our restaurants and visiting U.S. tourist destinations that are famous all around the world.
Following this announcement, Secretary Bryson met with and conducted a swearing-in ceremony for 32 newly appointed members of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, an advisory body of industry executives that provides vital input on government policies and programs affecting the travel and tourism industry.
Prior to their swearing in, Bryson told the new Board members that he is committed to working with them to bring more visitors to the United States and create jobs in a thriving tourism industry that already supports 7.5 million jobs throughout the country. This $1.2 trillion industry is one of the top employers for more than half of U.S. states and territories, and the United States recorded a $38.4 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism through November 2011.
Further, the U.S. travel and tourism industry is on pace for a record-setting year. Between November 2010 and 2011, international visitors spent nearly $140 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services, an increase of 13 percent compared to the same period a year before. Bringing more tourists to the U.S. will improve those numbers and boost employment.
The Board helps makes these developments like these possible by making recommendations to strenghen and support the travel and tourism industry. The previous Board delivered significant policy recommendations regarding travel facilitation, travel promotion and data and research, some of which played a role in today’s Executive Order announcement.
To learn more about the Board and see the list of new members, visit the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board website.