Archive for the ‘Travel and Tourism’ Category

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Commerce Department’s U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board Seeks Membership Applicants

April 18, 2016

Kelly Craighead is the Executive Director of the National Travel and Tourism Office.

Li Zhou is the Deputy Director of the Office of Advisory Committees & Industry Outreach and the Executive Secretariat for the Travel and Tourism Board.

The Department of Commerce is excited to announce that we are actively seeking candidates to serve on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (Board).  The Board, established in 2003, serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States.  The Board provides recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce and agencies that are part of the Tourism Policy Council, including the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, and others to ensure that the United States remains the preeminent destination for international inbound travel and tourism.

During the upcoming 2016-2018 term of the Board, members will provide valuable recommendations on implementation of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, as well as to help shape the next National Travel and Tourism Strategy following the 2017 conclusion of the current program of work.

Previous Boards have presented Secretaries of Commerce with important advice on a wide range of policies and issues facing the travel and tourism including ways to reach the National Travel and Tourism Strategy’s goal of attracting 100 million international visitors to the United States by the end of 2021, travel facilitation, visa policy, infrastructure, aviation security, research, energy policy, and economic sustainability.

Commerce is accepting applications for the new two-year term of the Board through May 6, 2016.  The Board will be comprised of up to thirty-two members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce.  Board members shall represent companies and organizations in the travel and tourism sector from a broad range of products and services, company sizes, and geographic locations and shall be drawn from large, medium, and small travel and tourism companies, private-sector organizations involved in the export of travel and tourism-related products and services, and other tourism-related entities.

To learn more about the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, please visit www.trade.gov/TTAB. For full membership criteria and application details, please review the Federal Register notice announcing the opportunity to apply.  If you have questions or comments, please email OACIO@trade.gov.

 

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Secretary Pritzker Discusses the Obama Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy at the 2016 World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit

April 8, 2016

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

On April 6, Secretary Pritzker traveled to Dallas to speak at the 2016 World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit. She discussed the Obama Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy and the Commerce Department’s role in making progress toward national travel and tourism goals.

When President Obama entered office in 2009, the global economy was in crisis. People around the world were canceling vacations and business trips in favor of staying home. Nearly 40 million fewer people globally visited another country that year compared to 2008. The United States experienced a five percent decrease in international visitors from 2008 to 2009.

Secretary Pritzker

Secretary Pritzker speaks at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit

The United States was also suffering from a global image problem – wait times for visa interviews could be more than 100 days, processing international visitors could take up to four hours at busy airports – and there was no coordinated national travel and tourism branding effort to combat this reality. President Obama saw travel and tourism as a vital sector and a tremendous growth opportunity, and he made it a priority to ensure the United States remained the world leader in travel and tourism receipts.

In 2012, the Obama Administration developed the National Travel and Tourism Strategy to set real benchmarks to gauge its progress.

As part of this Strategy, the Administration’ set an ambitious goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors to the United States by the end of 2021. It was the first time ever that the United States government had developed a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to attracting more visitors to the country. Four years later, the Administration’s efforts are paying huge dividends.

Secretary Pritzker announced at the Summit that the Administration is on track to meet the Strategy’s goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors to the U.S. by the end of 2021. The Department estimates that 75.3 million people visited the United States in 2015, up from 55 million in 2009, a 37 percent increase. These visitors spent a record $217 billion on goods and services, supporting 1.1 million U.S. jobs and making travel and tourism the United States’ number one services export.

The Administration has stepped up its efforts to support the Strategy by growing trusted traveler programs like Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI that now boast more than 4.5 million travelers; expanding the Visa Waiver Program to 11 additional countries; extending visa validity with China to 10 years; and reducing visa waiver interview wait times in key markets.

One of the reasons this Strategy is working is that the Administration has solicited private sector input from the very beginning and made sure that private sector feedback was incorporated every step of the way.  The Commerce Department created the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board in 2013 to solicit private sector input on travel and tourism matters, such as how the Administration can achieve its National Goal of the “best-in-class” international arrivals experience.

In the early days of his administration, President Obama signed the Travel Promotion Act into law and created Brand USA – the nation’s first-ever destination marketing organization. Brand USA, which partners with the Commerce Department and other federal agencies, uses innovative marketing approaches to show the world all the United States offers as a travel destination.

Travel builds bridges and creates deeper ties between nations. It can even make the country more secure, if smart policies are enacted and adapt to the constantly changing world.

This transformative impact on both lives and economies is why the travel and tourism industry has been a top priority for this administration from the beginning. Working together with the private sector, the Obama Administration will continue to make sure the world knows that America is open for visitors and open for business

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Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando

June 4, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando | Department of Commerce

Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando

Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando

On Monday, Secretary Pritzker traveled to Orlando and spoke at the U.S. Travel Association’s annual IPW event. IPW is the world’s largest travel and tourism trade show dedicated to the sale of U.S. goods and services. During her remarks, she also issued the 2015 Spring Travel Forecast, which showcases America as a premier travel destination with continued international visitation growth through 2020.

The Administration recognizes the vital importance of the travel and tourism sector to the economic health of the United States. In 2014, nearly 75 million people from around the world visited the United States, spending about $221.6 billion, on hotels, cars, food, and entertainment, and supporting 1.1 million American jobs. With global competition to attract international visitors rising,  the Department of Commerce and the Administration are focused on efforts to keep visitors coming back to the United States.

In 2012, President Obama launched the first-ever National Travel and Tourism Strategy, establishing the goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors to the United States and having them spend $250 billion in 2021. Through stronger public-private partnerships, the Administration has made progress on a number of efforts to improve the experience of traveling to the United States, including:

  • Reducing visa wait times at our embassies and consulates around the world
  • Expanding preclearance into nine new countries (including Belgium, Dominican Republic, Japan, Netherlands, the United Kingdom), which will allow passengers to have a better, faster, and more efficient experience entering the United States
  • Instituting Trusted Traveler Programs like Global Entry, which expedites the entry of pre-approved, low-risk American citizens and lawful permanent residents into the country
  • Expanding the Visa Waiver Program to 38 countries
  • Creating Brand USA, a first-of-its-kind partnership that brings the public sector together with nearly 500 organizations to collaborate on consumer campaigns, to cooperate on marketing programs, and to facilitate travel and trade outreach
  • Released a series of Airport Action Plans that will simplify and streamline entry for visitors at 17 of our top U.S. airports

America remains a premier travel destination for international visitors and the Administration is committed to working hard to maintain the best-in-class experiences for all guests coming to our nation’s shores.

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International Visitors Choose New York, Florida, and California as Favorite Destinations in 2014

June 3, 2015

Safwaan Brown is an intern in the Office of Public Affairs.

New York, Florida, and California topped the wish list for overseas visitors to the United States in 2014 – each setting records for international visitation last year. In fact, New York was the most visited state by overseas travelers for a 14th consecutive year. Florida and California registered 18 and 11 percent increases in visitors from 2013, according to the 2014 Survey of International Air Travelers (SIAT) released by the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office on June 1. SIAT estimates are currently available for 23 states.

Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Guam, New Jersey and Pennsylvania (tied) complete the top 10 states visited in 2014. Ten states experienced double-digit increases in visitors, with Georgia and Washington posting the highest growth rates at 22 and 21 percent, respectively. In addition to New York, Florida, and California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Washington, Utah, and Virginia set records for overseas visitation from 1997-2014.

Not surprisingly, the top five most-visited cities by overseas travelers were found to be New York (New York City), Florida (Miami, Orlando), and California (Los Angeles and San Francisco). Las Vegas, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Chicago round out the top 10 most popular cities among overseas visitors. Fifteen cities posted increases in visitation in 2014, with 11 of the 23 surveyed destinations achieving double-digit growth. San Diego (25 percent) and Atlanta (24 percent) registered the largest visitation increases.

In rank order, New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Diego, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.), Atlanta, Seattle, and the Florida Keys all set overseas visitation records between 1997 – 2014.

Upticks in leisure travel and visiting friends and relatives accounted for the overall increase in visitors, according to the survey. Overall, the average length of stay and total travel party size increased in 2014, as did the number of overseas travelers coming to the United States on business. The survey also noted an increase in travel by automobile and cruises.

The SIAT, launched in 1983, estimates overseas visitor volumes to destinations (states and cities) and provides traveler characteristics of those visitors from overseas and Mexico (air) to the United States and its destinations.

 

 

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Enjoy All that America Has to Offer – Celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week!

May 6, 2015

Kelly Craighead is the Executive Director of the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office. 

Many tiny images highlighting U.S. travel destinationsThis post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

It’s National Travel and Tourism Week and there is a lot to celebrate! Last year, 74.7 million international visitors to the United States generated $220.6 billion dollars in spending – a record number of visitors and a record year. Overall, the travel and tourism industry generated $1.5 trillion in total sales in 2014, which supported 7.8 million U.S. jobs.

If you’ve ever wondered why the U.S. Department of Commerce is interested in travel and tourism, the reason is simple: Commerce wants to help more U.S. businesses export. Travel and tourism, considered a services export, generates export dollars when international visitors to the United States spend their money on U.S. flag carriers to get here, or when they spend money on travel related items including lodging, food, attractions, shopping or use transportation within the country.

When people visit the United States to explore our cities and visit our attractions, they experience the unique diversity of our people, geography, and products. These visitors return to their home countries with an affinity for the USA brand and may seek out American goods sold in their home countries that remind them of their travels across the United States. Thus, new opportunities for U.S. companies to sell their products in international markets are created and U.S. exports increase.

Recognizing the important role of travel and tourism to the U.S. economy, in our National Travel and Tourism Strategy, we set a lofty goal: to attract 100 million international visitors annually by the end of 2021. With the full support of the Obama administration and an actively engaged set of vital industry partners, I’m pleased to say we are on track to meet this ambitious goal.

To that end, during this auspicious week, for all we have done together—and the more we have to do—I, along with my colleagues at the Commerce Department, salute each and every travel professional for the impactful contributions their organizations make to the U.S. economy.

I encourage all Americans to assist the United States in welcoming our visiting international guests. Help them see the beauty and wonder in your hometown, your state capital or your favorite American attraction. Consider pitching in to spruce up the public lands and waterways in your area or be a “voluntourist” and lead nature hikes or birding quests. You can also visit a museum or historic house. Get out a map and see what you can experience for yourself within a day’s drive of your house!

Enjoy all that America has to offer. Celebrate our nation’s great places, great spaces, and great faces. Discover this land like never before.

For information on travel and tourism, please visit http://travel.trade.gov. For great ideas about visiting the United States, please visit www.discoveramerica.com.

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Catch the Rising Tide of U.S. Travel Jobs, Exports

August 14, 2014

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Isabel Hill is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office. 

Whatever your fancy – toes in sand, skis in fresh powder, or your golf ball in the middle of the fairway (we hope) – your travel plans support millions of jobs throughout the United States.

https://tradegov.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/istock_000021187484small.jpg

See the sights, support jobs!

We have the data to prove it: New data from the Department of Commerce show the travel and tourism industry supported 7.6 million jobs in 2013, up 146,000 jobs from 2012.

The data also show that spending on travel and tourism-related goods and services totaled $1.5 trillion in 2013, a 4.1 percent increase from 2012.

This means that as you travel in the United States while taking time to unwind, you are supporting jobs and economic development around the country – so even while you sleep you are helping to grow our economy and create jobs!

Exports also play a major role in the U.S. travel and tourism industry.

When international travelers visit the United States, they inject billions and billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.  So when they book hotel rooms,  rent cars, or reserve tee times, that counts as an export even though no goods or services leave the United States (unless they bring home a new digital camera or set of golf clubs).

70mil international visitors spent $214.8bil in the U.S.

And travel and tourism is a major export industry for our country – in fact, it’s the largest U.S. services export. A record 70 million international visitors came to the United States in 2013, spending a record $214.8 billion. That’s about $590 million contributed to the U.S. economy per day!

It is no accident that we are seeing this growth. The National Travel and Tourism Strategy launched in 2012 lays out a plan to encourage even more international visitors to come to the United States, setting the goal of welcoming 100 million visitors per year by 2021.

This strategy is making the United States even more attractive as a travel destination by working across government and with the private sector to:

We look forward to seeing these numbers continue to grow, and we hope to see more of you checking in at new U.S. destinations to check out all the United States has to offer!

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Pack Your Bags, Support Jobs!

May 5, 2014

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Isabel Hill is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office. 

National Travel and Tourism Week is May 3-11, 2014.

National Travel and Tourism Week is May 3-11, 2014.  (Photo courtesy U.S. National Park Service)

It’s National Travel and Tourism Week, and there may not be an industry in the country that contributes so much to the U.S. economy and is so fun to celebrate!

You may not have thought about it, but your last road trip, night in a hotel, or weekend at the coast contributed to an industry that supports millions of jobs here in the United States. Travel and tourism generated $1.51 trillion for the U.S. economy in 2013.

This industry is also the country’s largest services export industry, contributing a record $180.7 billion to U.S. export totals in 2013. Those exports support 1.3 million U.S. jobs.

On top of the numbers is the contribution this industry makes to quality of life. Research shows that travel has a positive effect on relationships, education, and health!

So what’s not to celebrate?

We at the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office  are proud to work with the U.S. Travel Association, numerous state agencies, and the private sector to support travel and tourism and highlight its beneficial effects on the economy.

How has travel affected your life? Be sure to join the conversation on Twitter and share your story using #NTTW14. Then pull out your calendar – it’s time to plan your next vacation!

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