Great news for the U.S. travel and tourism industry and meeting planners nationwide: the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation passed the "Travel Promotion Act of 2009" last week. As I blogged previously, this legislation will create a public-private partnership with a budget of up to $200 million annually to attract international travelers to the United States.
"This much-needed legislation will help the United States to create thousands of new jobs and welcome billions in new spending by international visitors," said President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association Roger Dow, who has voiced his support of the legislation frequently in the past. "Our nation's economy is struggling and international travel promotion is part of the solution."
Rather than relying on taxpayer money, travel promotion will be supported by private sector contributions and a $10 fee on foreign travelers coming from countries who do not pay for visas for U.S. entry. According to Oxford Economics, the program could drive $4 billion annually in new spending by international travelers.