Bill S. 1661, recently approved by the Senate Commerce Committee, will start a non-profit public-private corporation whose mission would be to market the United States as a tourist location and work with other agencies to resolve issues that deter travel to the United States.
Apparently the U.S. is the last "global destination" to implement such a program. Many countries spend millions a year in advertising to increase tourism. Greek spends roughly $150 million a year, Australia $113 Million, Britain $90 Million.
This decision to pro-actively attract tourist to the U.S. comes at a time when travel to the U.S. has been at a low, due mostly to visa issues, the increased airport security since 9/11 and fear of the inconveniences it could cause; not to mention how the global image of U.S. has suffered due to the highly unpopular war on terror.
"The global pie of international travel is steadily increasing, while the U.S. share has been slowly decreasing," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the Travel Industry Association.
Hopefully this bill can change that; it plans to draw most of it's funding from Industry contributions (foreign business delegates have also been visiting less) and an additional $10 visa fee.
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