Obama Embraces Travel’s Unique Role in Doubling Exports, Creating American Jobs

U.S. Travel Board Members Appointed to New Export Council
Washington, DC – Reacting to a White House announcement naming the President’s Export Council to double exports over the next five years, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, issued the following statement:

“President Obama’s decision to name two members of our board of directors to serve on the Export Council is recognition of travel’s power to help strengthen our economy. As heads of United Airlines and Disney respectively, Glenn Tilton and Bob Iger are valuable voices for the enormous potential of international visitors to stimulate economic growth. The spending generated by international visitation to the U.S. is our country’s largest service export and helps to sustain and create more than 10 million American jobs.

“As the President’s Export Council begins its work, we strongly encourage the Administration to consider additional methods of attracting overseas travelers. A U.S. Travel analysis found that doubling arrivals from countries in the Visa Waiver Program would generate nearly $208 billion in spending for the U.S. economy and support more than 827,000 travel-related jobs. If the U.S. can double arrivals in five years from just three key emerging high-growth markets – Brazil, China and India – we would receive a total of $24 billion in export revenues that would support 206,300 travel-related jobs.

“Travel holds the key to achieving the President’s ambitious goal of doubling exports over the next five years.

“President Obama’s signing the Travel Promotion Act to establish the first-ever substantial U.S. promotion and communications program aimed at travelers from other countries was an important step in bolstering our export activities. Increasing arrivals from countries that require a U.S. visa is more challenging, but it can be done by improving access to U.S. consulates, through the use of videoconferencing technology for visa interviews and increasing officers to conduct visa interviews.

“We look forward to working with the White House and Commerce Department to ensure prompt implementation of the Travel Promotion Act and achieving the President’s goals.”

Contact:
Kristy Chandler 202-408-2172
Cathy Keefe 202-408-2183

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $704 billion travel industry. U.S. Travel’s mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. For more information, visit www.ustravel.org.