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Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank Announces Appointments to Travel and Tourism Advisory Board

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

In conjunction with National Travel and Tourism Week, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank today announced the appointment of six new members to the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The Board, established in 2003, serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States. Its members represent a broad cross-section of the industry, including transportation services, financial services, and hotels and restaurants, as well as a mix of small and large firms from across the country.

“The travel and tourism industry is an important driver of our export success, and a strong source of U.S. jobs,” said Deputy Secretary Blank. “Travel and tourism supported nearly 8 million U.S. jobs in 2012, and last week’s jobs report showed continued growth in the leisure and hospitality industry. These new members of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, who come from different regions and industry sub-sectors, will play a valuable role as we work to help maintain the momentum that’s currently underway.”

The announcement coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week (May 4-12), a celebration of the industry’s positive impact on the U.S. economy. Travel and tourism generated more than $168 billion in U.S. exports last year, a 10 percent increase from 2011.

On Monday, the Commerce Department highlighted new data that shows spending by international visitors in March 2013 totaled more than $14.4 billion, an increase of nearly 3 percent when compared to last year.

This week also marks the first anniversary of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy (Strategy), a blueprint for expanding travel to and within the United States. The Strategy aims to attract more than 100 million international visitors annually by 2021. These international visitors are projected to spend an estimated $250 billion per year, creating jobs and spurring economic growth in communities across the country.

The newly appointed members of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board are: 

  • Brian Mullis, Founder and CEO, Sustainable Travel International, White Salmon, Wash.
  • Trudy A. Rautio, President and CEO, Carlson, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Ingrid Rivera Rocafort, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Sherry Rupert, Vice-President, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • William D. Talbert, President and CEO, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Miami, Fla.
  • Betsy Wall, Executive Director, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, Boston, Mass.

The full list of members and other pertinent information is available at http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/TTAB/TTAB_Home.html.