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Congress Passes 9/11 Commission Bill and Creates Tourism Voice In Homeland Security

December 8, 2004

Congress Passes 9/11 Commission Bill and Creates Tourism Voice In Homeland Security
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The United States Congress passed legislation today that created a "tourism office" within the office of the private sector, special assistance to the Department of Homeland Security. This passage culminated three years of effort by CrossSphere, formerly the National Tour Association, and its key industry partners to create an industry voice in this important government agency.

This legislation is part of the larger reorganization of the U.S. government’s intelligence structure, which includes terrorism prevention and prosecution, border security, and international cooperation and coordination.

"This CrossSphere-initiated and industry-led effort represents a great success that will benefit all travelers, assist in keeping America safe and encourage inbound tourism around the globe," CrossSphere President Hank Phillips, CTP, said.

In 2003 the association launched the legislative initiative to create a tourism industry position within DHS. There was an immediate recognition that the heightened security procedures would disrupt air travel and negatively impact international inbound traffic. In addition, the association was concerned that heightened security procedures would cause long delays at U.S. land borders, furthering discouraging packaged travel between the U.S. and our North American neighbors. Now a remedial response is in statutory language.

As set forth in legislation initiated by CrossSphere, the duties of the private sector special assistant will now represent the interests of the travel and tourism industry while adhering to the security mandates of the department.

"The travel industry owes a big debt of gratitude to Rep. Jon Porter (R. NV) for his courageous leadership," CrossSphere Legislative Counsel Jim Santini said. "Congressman Porter has opened the DHS door. Now, the responsibility is upon the shoulders of the industry representatives to work with the special assistant to transform the dream into reality."

Santini and CrossSphere industry representatives plan to request a meeting with the private sector special assistant to explore ways to work together to meet the security objectives, while minimizing travel and tourism disruptions.

CrossSphere is an international association of nearly 4,000 tourism professionals involved in the growth and development of the packaged travel industry. CrossSphere is made up of members from 25 countries and is committed to providing business opportunities and knowledge to its members, while offering a collaborative, caring environment in which to build relationships. For more information, please visit

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