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Update on Priorities from the 2008 Travel/Tourism Economic Summit

August 14, 2009


On December 12, 2008, more than 30 associations, including NTA, met to outline tourism-related recommendations to the incoming Obama administration. Seven recommendations emerged from the 2008 Travel/Tourism Economic Summit and some significant activity has taken place since that historic meeting. Here is a look at the progress on two of the issues:

  • Federal Grants and Loans for Travel & Tourism Development at the Regional, State and Local Levels – Summit participants supported an aggressive program of expanding current grants and creating new grants for marketing, development, and tourism promotion. In 2007, Congressional Tourism Caucus Co-Chairman Sam Farr (D-California) co-authored the "Improving Public Diplomacy through International Travel Act", which would award competitive grants and promote international inbound travel to the United States. NTA is working with Rep. Farr to re-introduce this legislation.
  • Re-Examination of Travel Bans – Economic Summit participants recommended that the federal government recognize that the freedom to travel is an important instrument of economic development and mutual understanding. In addition, the U.S. government should adopt a policy that its citizens should be free to travel the globe without artificial restrictions placed on them. Legislation was introduced in February 2009 that addresses the Cuba travel ban, the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (H.R. 874, S. 428). The House version of the Act has 160 co-sponsors, while the Senate version has 30.

To see a full report on action taken regarding the seven key issues discussed at the summit, click here. For more information on this topic, contact NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4250.

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