WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, made the following statement regarding the Senate’s passage of the Travel Promotion Act:
“Senator Reid deserves tremendous credit for his relentless efforts to get this bill through the Senate,” said Chairman Rockefeller. “Senator Dorgan also deserves our sincere appreciation as the Commerce Committee leader of this legislation. The Travel Promotion Act is important economic development legislation – studies estimate it will create 40,000 jobs nationally and will reduce the deficit by nearly half a billion dollars. A sustained and stable tourism promotion program is a significant investment that will generate enormous dividends. When tourists visit the United States and my amazing state of West Virginia, they spend money that generates jobs and needed revenue – and that is a very good thing.”
The Travel Promotion Act was originally passed by the Senate Commerce Committee.
• The Travel Promotion Act will create jobs and reduce the deficit. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that the bill could create 40,000 American jobs and yield $321 million in new federal tax revenue annually. [U.S. Travel Association, Get America’s Economy Back on Track] The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the legislation would reduce the deficit by $425 million over the next decade. [Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate, S. 1023] Small businesses, which make up 90 percent of employers in the travel industry, would receive a particularly strong boost from a coordinated campaign to promote travel to the United States.
• The Travel Promotion Act will encourage travel to the United States and increase spending by visitors. The travel promotion campaign provided for in the legislation could yield an additional 1.6 million international visitors a year to the United States, which would translate into $4 billion in additional spending. [U.S. Travel Association, Get America’s Economy Back on Track]
• Travel and tourism support jobs and promote economic growth in every region of the country. The travel and tourism sector supports 8.3 million travel-related jobs. Overseas and international travelers visit all regions of the country, contributing to the economies of every state. The average overseas visitor to the United States spends more than $4,000 per visit. Increased tourism would boost the hospitality industry, increase the number of individuals eating in American restaurants, encourage additional spending in retail stores, and expand the use of all forms of transportation.
• The Travel Promotion Act establishes a public-private international advertising campaign to promote travel to the United States and to accurately communicate America’s travel policies to potential overseas visitors.
• To fund this campaign, a private investment from the travel and tourism industry will match public funds generated by a small fee on foreign travelers from visa waiver countries visiting the U.S.