Mike Masserman is the director of the Office of Advisory Committees and oversees the President’s Export Council, the Manufacturing Council and 18 other advisory committees.
Coming off the heels of National Travel & Tourism Week , key members of the Obama Administration, including President Obama’s Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, head to Las Vegas this week to underscore the importance of travel and tourism to the American economy at the Global Travel & Tourism Summit . From hotels, airlines and tour operators to restaurants, national parks and historic sites, this critical industry employs nearly 8 million people in our country and has played an essential role in our economic recovery.
The U.S. attracts 11.2% of world traveler spending, well ahead of destinations like Spain and France, and welcomed 60 million international visitors in 2010 alone – visitors who spent $134.4 billion dollars. A lot of people don’t know that international travel and tourism is considered an export – but it is, and with export numbers like that, the industry is a prime contributor to achieving the President’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in the next five years. So when folks talk about the National Export Initiative and World Trade Month , travel & tourism should be at the top of the agenda. That’s why we‘re holding our next Travel and Tourism Advisory Board meeting in San Francisco next week to coincide with the Discover America International Pow Wow .
At next week’s meeting, Under Secretary Sánchez will be releasing the upcoming travel forecast and will highlight the Administration’s work on the Board’s recommendations to facilitate international travel to the United States. The Board will also be presenting recommendations on a number of new policy issues including crisis management and coordination and airport security.
We look forward to meeting with travel & tourism CEOs from across the country and working with them to help create jobs for the American people.