Letter Supporting the Travel Promotion Act of 2009

Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 7:00pm


February 22, 2010

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Republican Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Leaders Reid and McConnell:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports the "Travel Promotion Act of 2009," and urges the Senate to take up this important legislation, which is included in the House approved version of H.R. 1299.

Unlike many other countries, the United States does not have a nationally coordinated promotion effort to inform and compete for visitors in this increasingly competitive global marketplace. The Travel Promotion Act would help increase overseas travel to the United States by creating a private-public partnership, without any U.S. taxpayer funds, to communicate changes to U.S. travel policies and to promote the United States as a travel destination abroad. Oxford Economics estimates that a well-executed promotion program, as outlined in the Travel Promotion Act, would attract 1.6 million new international visitors annually. The international traveler provides a vital boost to businesses and state and local governments nationwide, spending on average about $4,000 per person, each time they enter the United States.

The United States has some of the greatest vacation destinations in the world and should seek to attract legitimate travelers. The Travel Promotion Act program would also help alleviate much of the confusion that exists in regards to new security procedures. With new security regulations constantly being implemented including the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, USVISIT, Secure Flight, and many others, it is imperative that the rest of the world remain informed and that the United States regains its position as one of the world's most popular destinations.

In September, 2009, the Senate demonstrated strong bipartisan support for this legislation by passing S. 1023, the standalone version of the Travel Promotion Act, by a vote of 79-19. In November, 2009, the House included the Senate-passed bill as a provision of H.R. 1299, which passed by voice vote.

The Chamber urges the Senate to work expeditiously to approve this important legislation and send it to the President's desk.


R. Bruce Josten

Cc: The Members of the United States Senate