Posts Tagged ‘travel’

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Taiwan’s Entry to Visa Waiver Program Will Boost Travel and Tourism in United States

November 7, 2012

Francisco Sánchez serves as the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. Follow him on Twitter @UnderSecSanchez.

We are on the brink of a new era. The United States’ commitment to Taiwan and its people have reached tremendous levels this year. As of November 1, 2012, people from Taiwan are able to visit the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. The entry of Taiwan into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program will not only tremendously support the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, but also offer more opportunities to do business with each other, which enhances our economic partnership.

The goal of President Obama’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy is to attract 100 million visitors to the United States by the end of 2021. Taiwan will help us achieve this goal. During President Ma Ying-jeou’s time in office, the United States and Taiwan have made great progress towards our mutual goal of expanded opportunity and prosperity for both our nations. Taiwan has made great strides during the past few years to enhance its border security and travel systems. These efforts led Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to nominate and then approve Taiwan for the Visa Waiver Program.

The Visa Waiver Program will make international travel easier and encourage more visitors to the United States. Some found it frustrating to apply for a visa – from the fees to the long waits for interview appointments during school holidays and summer vacations. So we wanted to facilitate this process, while still being true to our national security goals. The recent decision to grant visa waiver status to travelers from Taiwan will make it easier for local businesspeople to explore opportunities in the United States and increase people-to-people interaction, which enhances our understanding of each other’s histories and cultures.

Taiwan is the 22nd largest source of foreign travelers to the United States, with approximately 300,000 travelers coming to the United States per year.  These travelers contributed $1 billion per year on travel to the United States. The commencement of the visa waiver program for Taiwan citizens will significantly boost these figures, making this another milestone in our growing bilateral commercial relationship. We look forward to welcoming more visitors from Taiwan throughout the United States.

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Promoting Travel and Tourism to Help Increase our Exports

August 29, 2012

Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale is the Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services within the International Trade Administration

I was pleased to have the opportunity last Friday to speak at the Global Access Forum for Small Businesses hosted by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im), where I highlighted how this Administration is supporting the National Export Initiative(NEI) through travel and tourism. The NEI is the Obama Administration’s commitment to serve as a full partner with U.S. businesses to promote American-made goods and services worldwide. Among other things, the NEI focuses on improving trade advocacy and promotion efforts to increase exports.

(pictured from L to R) Mike McCartney, President and CEO, Hawaii Tourism Authority (the state's tourism agency), Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, Assistant Secretary Nicole Lamb-Hale, and Bruce Coppa, Chief of Staff, Governor's Office. (Photo Hawaii Tourism Authority)

(pictured from L to R) Mike McCartney, President and CEO, Hawaii Tourism Authority (the state’s tourism agency), Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, Assistant Secretary Nicole Lamb-Hale, and Bruce Coppa, Chief of Staff, Governor’s Office. (Photo Hawaii Tourism Authority)

Generating increased spending from international travelers to the U.S. is just one way we are increasing exports, and the Obama Administration has developed the National Travel and Tourism Strategy to help make progress on that front. The National Strategy delineates the United States government’s plan to increase American jobs by attracting and welcoming 100 million international visitors, who we estimate will spend $250 million annually, within 10 years. 

(Read the blog post by Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on the National Travel and Tourism Strategy for more information.)

I was pleased to share the Department of Commerce’s efforts on the National Travel and Tourism Strategy with the Global Access Forum for Small Business, an Ex-Im Bank initiative to increase the number of small businesses exporting goods and services, thereby maintaining and creating U.S. jobs. As a part of achieving these export goals, the Global Access Forum was an opportunity to encourage small businesses to make the investments that will allow them to benefit from increased tourism and spending by international visitors.

Hawaii was an ideal backdrop for this meeting, because it represents the diversity of experiences that America has to offer international visitors.

Overseas travel to Hawaii in 2011 totaled 2.3 million visitors, up 7 percent from 2010. The Hawaiian Islands were the fifth most visited U.S. destination by overseas travelers in 2011.

The efforts of Hawaiian businesses to sell their products and services to international travelers are a significant contributor to the United States’ success in international travel and tourism exports – which represents 11.3 percent of world traveler spending.

In fact, one quarter (25 percent) of all U.S. services exports come from travel and tourism receipts, and more than 1.2 million jobs in the United States are supported by international travelers.

It was my pleasure to engage the Hawaiian travel and tourism industry as we build on last year’s record $153 billion in travel and tourism exports for the U.S. and work to meet our goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors by the end of 2021 to increase American jobs.

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Coming to America: International Visitors Help Keep America Moving

May 10, 2012

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Julie Heizer is the Acting Director for the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries within the Manufacturing and Services division of the International Trade Administration

This week we’re celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week by highlighting the impact of international visitors on our economy as well as noting how we can attract more visitors to experience our wonderland of sights and attractions.

Last year, a record 62 million international tourists visited the United States and spent a record $153 billion that went to support the economies of local communities, helping to support 1.1 million jobs in our travel and tourism industry.  The U.S. enjoys a $42.8 billion surplus in travel and tourism and has done so since 1989. While these numbers are all records for the industry, there is room to improve. Jazz Musician as part of Brand USA's "Discover this land, like never before" campaign. (Photo Brand USA)

The U.S. ranks just behind France in attracting foreign visitors, hosting 6.4% of the global share of travelers. However, in terms of visitor spending, we dominate the world market with 11.2% of global traveler spending.

According to the most recently released travel forecast (2012-2016) international visitation to the United States is expected to grow between four to five percent in the forecast period. This growth would build on the past two years of record-setting numbers and continue this upward trend.
If the forecast holds true, visitor volume would grow from 62.3 million in 2011 to reach 65.4 million in 2012 and 76.6 million by 2016. This translates into total growth of 14.4 million additional visitors in 2016 compared to 2011, growth of 23% versus the 2011 level, and a compounded annual growth rate of 4.2 percent.

In January, President Obama signed an executive order to further support travel and tourism to the United States and ultimately create jobs. The order established, among other things, a Task Force on Travel and Competitiveness that developed and delivered a National Travel and Tourism Strategy to the White House that will encourage international visitors to come to the United States.

Improving staffing in overseas embassies to process visa applications and ensuring smooth arrival processes at major airports are important steps to attracting a larger volume of travelers to the United States. However, this task is a collaborative effort between the federal government and private industry.

During International Pow Wow, the largest U.S. travel and tourism industry event, held this year in Los Angeles, Brand USA, a public-private partnership whose mission is to promote increased international travel to the United States, unveiled their marketing campaign designed to draw more visitors to the United States. The campaign showcases the diversity of experiences available in the United States in a fresh and unexpected light, inviting visitors to “Discover this land, like never before.”

Through the public-private partnership launched by Brand USA and the increased attention on travel and tourism from the U.S. government  the United States can regain its prominence as a world-class destination and in the process create and retain jobs across the country.

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Travel and Tourism Gets a Presidential Boost

January 19, 2012
This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Michael Masserman is the Director of the Office of Advisory Committees within the Manufacturing and Services division of the International Trade Administration

The new travel and tourism advisory board with Commerce Secretary John Bryson

The new travel and tourism advisory board with Commerce Secretary John Bryson

Against the backdrop of Disney World, President Obama signed an executive order that will boost tourism to the United States and ultimately create jobs. The order will create, among other things, a Task Force on Travel and Competitiveness that will develop and deliver within 90 days a National Travel and Tourism Strategy that will help encourage international visitors to come to the United States. More than 47 million international visitors have arrived to see our sights, attend conferences, take family vacations, visit natural wonders, theme parks and experience what we have to offer. Developing a national tourism strategy and streamlining the visa process for non-immigrant visas will attract more tourists and create more jobs.

Commerce Secretary Bryson this week also welcomed the 32 members (19 of whom have never before served) of the re-chartered Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The Board serves as the principal private sector advisory committee to the Secretary of Commerce on the U.S. travel and tourism industry.

As the new Board gets situated in their new role as advisors, they will be building on the foundation laid out by previous Boards. Originally chartered in 2003, the Board has been conferring and advising the Secretary on everything from revival of the Gulf Coast Region to recommendations on energy security and travel facilitation.

Members represent companies and organizations in the travel and tourism industry from a broad range of products and services, company sizes and geographic locations. Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon will serve as Chair and Sam Gilliand, Chairman and CEO of Sabre Holdings will serve as Vice-Chair. Both are returning members to the Board and will provide leadership in the activities of the new Board that will build on work of their predecessors.

The travel and tourism industry is a crucial part of the U.S. services economy whose strength and growth is essential to the economic health of our nation. Travel and tourism is a $1.2 trillion sector of the U.S. economy or nearly three percent of Gross Domestic Product. Critical to the nation’s overall economic health, the travel and tourism industry is one of the top employers for more than half of the U.S. states and territories.

The U.S. travel and tourism industry is on pace for a record-setting year. Through November 2011, international visitors spent an estimated $139.4 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date, an increase of 13 percent compared to the same period in 2010. The United States recorded a $38.4 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism through November 2011.

There is no denying that the health of the travel and tourism industry impacts millions of Americans nation-wide and the council of these 32 advisors will play a significant role in ensuring that Brazilian, Chinese, and Indian travelers come see America!

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U.S. Department of Commerce Releases New Travel Forecast

May 25, 2011

Mark Brown is an economist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries.  He serves as the program manager for the Travel Forecast program.

Continued Strong Growth Expected in International Travel to the United States 2011-2016

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) projects international travel to the United States will continue experiencing strong growth through 2016.

Visitor volume is expected to increase 7 percent in 2011 and reach 64 million visitors who stay one or more nights in the United States.  This growth would build on the 9 percent increase in arrivals in 2010, which resulted in a record 59.7 million visitors.

According to the current forecast, the United States would see 6 percent to 8 percent annual growth rates in visitor volume over the 2012-2016 time frame.  By 2016 this growth would produce 89 million visitors, a 49 percent increase and an additional 29 million visitors compared to 2010.

Countries with the largest forecasted total growth percentages by 2016 are China (+232%), South Korea (+200%), Brazil (+150%), Russian Federation (+139%), and India (+94%).

The U.S. travel forecast was prepared by staff in the Department of Commerce/Office of Travel & Tourism Industries using economic / demographic / social factors, Commerce historical visitation trends, input from the DOC Commercial Service staff abroad, and other sources.

For more information on the OTTI Travel Forecast, including data tables for the world regions, data tables for the top 40 visitor origin countries, and justification for each country forecast, including positive and negative factors that might influence travel from each country to the United States, please visit:
http://www.tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/f-2000-99-001/index.html

Travel and tourism is the largest services export industry for the United States and has produced a trade surplus since 1989.  For official information on international travel to the United States, please visit:
http://www.tinet.ita.doc.gov/

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Travel and Tourism – partnering with industry to support millions of American jobs

May 17, 2011

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.

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Celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week – It’s Been a Great Year so Far

May 11, 2011

Helen Marano is the Director of ITA’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) and is a 20+ year travel and tourism industry veteran.

This week we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week by recognizing the men, women, businesses, tour operators, hotels, rental car agencies, and all forms of transportation that make up the travel and tourism industry in the United States. The travel and tourism industry accounts for nearly 3 percent of our nation’s GDP and 5.5 million people are directly employed in travel and tourism jobs. The total impact of travel and tourism and tourism on the U.S. was $1.33 trillion in 2010, up seven percent over 2009. 

One thing that some people may not understand about international travelers is that when they come to see our natural wonders, attend a major trade show or conference or attend business meetings it is considered a service export. Travel and tourism is the largest service export from the United States and we’ve enjoyed a trade surplus since 1989. International visitors spent $134 billion in 2010 and the top countries that send visitors to the United States include Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany.

The U.S. is second only to France in our share of world travelers, and we are the top country for international travel spending.  The fastest growth markets for international travel to the U.S. are forecast to come from China, Brazil, Korea, India and Australia. 

Twice a year the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries issues a forecast of tourism arrivals to the U.S. The forecast covers 12 world regions and 200 origin countries. The program provides forecasted arrivals for a 6-year horizon.

The release of the forecast data is timed to coincide with the Discover America International POW WOW conference in May, hosted in San Francisco this year between May 21st and the 25th, and the Outlook Forum in October each year.

The most recent forecast, which projects arrivals through 2015, predicts that international arrivals will reach nearly 83 million, an increase of 51 percent from 2009, through 2015.

We will be releasing our upcoming forecast covering 2011-2016 during this year’s POW WOW so keep an eye on this spot for new and data in the upcoming weeks.

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Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and the Gulf

July 27, 2010

Melanie Kaplan is an intern in the Office of Advisory Committees and entering her junior year at Wellesley College.

From the now infamous “shrimpers” to the hotel owners in Louisiana to the restaurant employees in Florida panhandle, the BP oil spill has caused wide-spread devastation. Not only is the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) working to counteract the damage, the whole Department of Commerce has stepped up to help Gulf Coast residents and businesses stay ahead of the “orange tide.” Everyone is making an effort to address the harrowing situation at hand from daily conference calls on an inter-bureau level to an inter-agency group working to provide needed relief. The International Trade Administration and the Office of Advisory Committees (OAC) are no exception and worked hard to plan this past Monday’s meeting of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) in New Orleans. Given the oil spill and the upcoming five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans seemed the perfect locale to step back and think about how  the government and private sector can work together to promote travel and tourism in the region.

Secretary Locke, along with several other senior Commerce officials and the TTAB committee members supported those suffering from the damages of the oil spill by discussing how they can encourage travel and tourism in the Gulf. On that note, BP recently gave $15 million to the State of Louisiana to fund a marketing campaign to help combat the effects of the oil spill on tourism. At the meeting, Secretary Locke pointed out it was a welcomed contribution and reinforced that “the recovery is going to take a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of money and we’re going to have to continually hold BP accountable and hold its feet to the fire.” Furthermore, the unity demonstrated by government and business at the meeting highlighted the importance of the jobs created by the travel and tourism sector, which directly and indirectly includes one in every sixteen Americans. As an intern, I have helped plan the event from participating in conference calls to updating the guest list, and putting together briefing binders, and am happy to have made my own small contribution to improving the lives of the Gulf Coast residents and businesses. If you are interested in volunteering or just want more information on efforts to restore the Gulf, please visit RestoreTheGulf.gov, the official federal portal for the Deepwater BP oil spill response and recovery.

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Pow Wow Kicks Off in Miami

June 2, 2009

Helen Marano is the Director of the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries which serves as the National Tourism Office for the United States.  She has worked in the travel and tourism industry for 18 years.

I am writing you from Pow Wow in sunny Miami. Pow Wow is the travel and tourism industry’s premier international sales and marketing event. It’s great to be here with a strong federal presence from the Departments of State and Homeland Security, as well as our Travel & Tourism Team from the U.S. Commercial Service. Part of our mission at Pow Wow is to educate international travel leaders about new entry and exit programs and provide the latest information about U.S. travel destinations programs, and inbound visitation statistics.

International Trade Administration Travel and Tourism Team

International Trade Administration Travel and Tourism Team. Department of Commerce photo.

It’s exciting to see over 4,000 attendees here from all over the world. They’re folks from State Tourism offices, cities, attractions, hotels, travel journalists and foreign buyers of U.S. travel and tourism products and services. It is great to see commerce at work with more than 50,000 appointments between buyers and sellers taking place this week. These negotiations typically generate over $3 billion in future travel to the United States.

Today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke at Pow Wow’s closing luncheon.  He said, “I am especially pleased to note that travel and tourism is responsible for over one-fourth of all services exports for the United States. And for the 20th consecutive year, travel and tourism produced a travel trade surplus for the U.S. – a record $29.7 billion.” He went on to say, “What is impossible to count are the friendships that were formed, the perspectives that were broadened, or the discoveries that were made about a new culture and country as a result of traveling to the United States.”

Events like Pow Wow are an excellent opportunity for individual destinations like Miami to showcase their attractions and venues to international buyers. Pow Wow shows how resilient the travel and tourism industry is and what an engine it is for economic growth. Events such as Pow Wow help generate more visitors to the U.S., more dollars spent, and more jobs created.

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U.S. Travel and Tourism: The Little Engine that Could

May 14, 2009

Sean Timmins is an International Trade Specialist on the Trade Missions Team in the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service. He is currently on rotation in the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries which serves as the National Tourism Office for the United States.

I am writing you today from the steps of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in downtown Washington, D.C. where members of Congress and tourism leaders from the public and private sector are participating in the first ever U.S. Travel Rally Day. We are partnering with Destination DC (the local convention and visitors bureau) and the U.S. Travel Association to celebrate the importance of the travel and tourism industry to the United States’ economy. Similar rallies are taking place in 36 cities across the country, from Seattle to Orlando and Albuquerque to Cincinnati.

Helen Marano (right), Director, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, with Washington Capitals mascot "Slapshot" on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery while participating in U.S. Travel Rally Day. (U.S. Department of Commerce photograph.)

Helen Marano (right), Director, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, with Washington Capitals mascot “Slapshot” on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery while participating in U.S. Travel Rally Day. (U.S. Department of Commerce photograph.)

Did you know that the U.S. travel and tourism industry accounts for 2.6% of total U.S. GDP? Over 8 million American jobs are supported by the travel and tourism industry and almost a million of those jobs are supported by international travelers coming to the U.S. It’s important to remember that travel and tourism not only creates and supports jobs in hotels, airlines, and car rental companies, but also in restaurants, movie theaters, bars, malls, gas stations, coffee shops, amusement parks and just about anywhere else that provides a service. In 2008, a record 58 million international visitors came to the United States. The largest number came from Canada, followed by Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany.

My boss, Helen Marano (Director, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries), said “Travel is the ultimate freedom. Peoples from every nation can get away from their daily lives to experience new destinations, ‘walk in different shoes,’ meet people from different cultures, and learn to appreciate both their differences and their similarities.” She went on to say, “Travel builds bridges between peoples and cultures. Travel builds understanding between peoples and cultures. Travel builds diplomacy.”

May is a big month for U.S. travel and tourism. Next week, the travel and tourism industry’s premier international sales and marketing event,

Pow Wow, will take place in Miami. More than 4,200 attendees have registered, including more than 1,600 international travel buyers and nearly 400 journalists from over 70 countries. Helen will be blogging from Miami, so check back next week to hear what she’s got to say about this event!

So get out there and do your part – become a traveler. You can start by logging onto www.DiscoverAmerica.com, a promotional website that was developed through a cooperative agreement between the United States Department of Commerce and the U.S. Travel Association.

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