U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on Senate confirmation of Antony Blinken to serve as Secretary of State:
“Secretary Blinken’s long experience and vast expertise will be major assets as the U.S. tends to its international ties and its standing on the global stage.
“Blinken will be in a key position to help the economic recovery as well. International traveler spending in the U.S. fell an estimated $137 billion—76%—from 2019 to last year. The State Department’s role in facilitating the return of those visitors will be crucial to restoring the 4.5 million U.S. jobs the travel industry lost in 2020. Reopening cross-border travel, in turn, can help the country’s international objectives because of its effectiveness as a tool of diplomacy by bringing people and cultures together.
“As President Biden’s longtime right hand on foreign policy, Secretary Blinken should be a major positive influence on setting a policy course that will revive international visitation to the U.S.
“We welcome Secretary Blinken as our new Secretary of State, and we thank the Senate for his swift confirmation.”