Legislators release National Tourism and Travel Strategy

Friday, May 11, 2012

Legislators release National Tourism and Travel Strategy

In January, President Barack Obama announced the United States was "open for business," and he challenged legislators to create a national strategy to promote domestic and international travel opportunities throughout the country. 

In response, Commerce Secretary John Bryson and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently announced the administration’s National Tourism and Travel Strategy, which will focus on five keys areas of growth with a goal to bring in at least 100 million visitors annually by 2021.

"I am proud of our work on the National Strategy, a product of a strong private-public partnership, which will make the U.S. even more welcoming to visitors and reinforce our message to the world: the United States is open for business," said Bryson.

One of the goals included in the strategy is increasing American jobs in the tourism industry, which would be an effort to bring in international travelers who would spend an estimated $250 billion in the United States each year.   

“These recommendations will help make the United States a more attractive travel destination for people around the globe, and I look forward to working with our partners across government and industry to turn this strategy into action,” said Salazar.

The strategy is also an effort to stimulate the American economy. In 2011, the travel and tourism industry generated $1.2 trillion from domestic and international travel, showcasing the effects the travel and tourism industry has within the national economy.

“Tens of millions of tourists from all over the world come and visit America every year," said Obama. "At a time when too many Americans are still looking for work, we need to make it easier for more people to visit this country and keep our economy growing."

Visitors to the United States have a number of living options that offer a wide range of products and services. However, an option that deserves more consideration is short term rental apartments, which offer a number of unique accommodations such as in-unit washers and dryers, a full kitchen and a workout room. These option can show international travelers a great experience while in the United States.

The Global Business Travel Association recently announced its support of the National Tourism and Travel Strategy because it believes business travel is one of the main components that drives the U.S. economy.

Michael W. McCormick, executive director and chief operating officer of GBTA, said the organization will work in accordance with these plans by making visa process improvements and expanding the visa waiver program.

"Recent moves by the Obama administration have demonstrated the President's commitment to increasing travel," said McCormick. "The expansion of the Transportation Security Administration's Pre-Check Program, the decision to make Global Entry permanent and the calls to speed up the implementation of NextGen are all signs of how important travel is to the economy."

Seeing the importance of tourism to the economy, travelers and road warriors managers all over the world need to make an effort to fit in travel when possible. Not only does it stimulate the economy, it also creates jobs for Americans, which is one of the best ways to help the country get out from under the current economic problems.