The new leaders and members of the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board were announced by U.S Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez at the board’s inaugural meeting on Thursday.
“U.S. travel and tourism-related industries annually contribute more than $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy, helping to support more than 8.6 million American jobs,” said Mr Gutierrez. “Last year, the United States set new records for total arrivals and spending, welcoming 56 million international travellers who contributed $122 billion to the U.S. economy. The U.S. Travel and Tourism Board provides support for this valuable and global industry by advising the Department of Commerce on key issues.”
The advisory board is comprised of 15 senior U.S. travel and tourism executives who represent a bipartisan cross-section of the industry.
Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Carlson Companies, will serve as Chairman of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
William DeCota, Director of Aviation at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will serves as the Vice Chair.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff will continue to serve as ex-officio members of the board.
The U.S. travel and tourism industry is the largest services sector exporter in the U.S. economy, supporting more than 8 million travel-related jobs in the United States. In 2007, the United States experienced a 10 percent increase in total international arrivals.
International visitors spent a record $11.6 billion in the United States in February, a 26 percent increase from February 2007.
Spending by international travellers while in the United States, including travel receipts and passenger fares, is defined as a U.S. export. Exports are a critical component to the U.S. economy, fuelling economic growth and job creation.
For more information on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, visit: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/TTAB/TTAB_Home.html , and for a list of the Board’s new members visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/TTAB/TTAB_Members.htm l.