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Sen. Mark Begich Receives NTA Pioneer Award

February 27, 2014

NTA paid tribute to Sen. Mark Begich last week in Los Angeles at the association’s awards dinner, honoring the senator from Alaska with the NTA Pioneer Award. The award recognizes Begich’s unwavering support for the travel industry.

Since entering Congress in 2008, Begich has sponsored or supported a steady stream of legislation that advances travel and tourism, including the Travel Regional Investment Partnership Act and the Travel Promotion Act,which created Brand USA. Begich is co-founder of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus.

“We believe tourism is a critical part of our economy that is often forgotten,” Begich said to more than 1,000 travel and tourism professionals attending Travel Exchange, NTA’s annual convention, held in conjunction with the United Motorcoach Association’s EXPO. “We know what you’re doing every day to drive jobs, create opportunity and make people’s lives great.”

The senator also lauded industry professionals for improving international relations. “You folks in the business are our best ambassadors,” he said. “[Visitors] go back to their home countries and talk about America in a different way-a positive way-because of what you sell them and show them. Thank you for giving America a great voice around the world.”

The award was presented by Mark Hoffmann, CTP, NTA chairman and CEO. “Senator Begich is a true friend to the travel industry and has always been receptive to NTA and the industry,” Hoffmann said, adding that Begich has attended several NTA conventions and has been a featured speaker for the past four years at NTA’s annual grassroots event in Washington, D.C.

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