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US travel and tourism strategy announced

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SALEM, Ore. – Delivering on President Obama’s recent call for a national approach to promote travel and tourism throughout the United States, Secretary of Commerce John Bryson and Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar today announced the Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy. The plan reflects input from local government and business leaders, including the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB), which is chaired by Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon) CEO Todd Davidson.

The National Travel and Tourism Strategy’s overarching goal is to increase American jobs and spur economic growth by attracting and welcoming 100 million international visitors estimated to spend $250 billion annually by the end of 2021.

In a joint statement with Sam Gilliland, U.S. TTAB vice-chair and CEO of Sabre Holdings, Davidson comments, “Today’s launch of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy marks a watershed moment for our country. It represents formal recognition of the national importance of travel and tourism and its status as a powerful economic, job creating and cultural engine. The U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board applauds President Obama, Secretary Bryson and Secretary Salazar for their leadership in harnessing the resources of the federal government and partnering with the private sector to develop this strategy to tap our industry’s vast potential. The members of our board now look forward to working with Secretary Bryson and our many other government partners in doing our part to help rapidly implement this forward-thinking plan.”

To reach its goal of attracting 100 million international travelers annually within the next 10 years, the Strategy identifies five areas of focus:

Promoting the United States by capitalizing on the growing demand for travel and tourism in the U.S., creating a positive and welcoming message for international visitors.

Enabling and enhancing travel and tourism to and within the United States by working to reduce institutional barriers to the free flow of trade in travel services; expanding the Visa Waiver Program; enhancing U.S. visa processing; expanding trusted traveler programs and expediting screening initiatives; and improving the processes for arrival and aviation security screening initiatives while continuing to ensure border security and traveler safety.

Providing world­class customer service and visitor experiences that will inspire repeat visitation and positive word-of-mouth.

Coordinating across government to prioritize its support for travel and tourism, better coordinate Federal policies and programs, engage more deliberately with partners, encourage coordinated Federal participation in public-private tourism collaborations and establish a national travel and tourism office to provide leadership and focus within the federal government.

Conducting research and measuring results to ensure continual progress on the important goals and strategies outlined in this National Strategy.

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About the author


Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.