|Overseas Travel to U.S. Declining|
Figures just released from the U.S. Department of Commerce show
that America’s travel economy continues to lose millions of
overseas visitors, costing America billions in revenue.
“We have lost nearly 60 million international travelers since
9/11 and the problem is only getting worse,” said Geoff Freeman,
executive director of the Discover America Partnership, a coalition
of American business leaders working to strengthen America through
the power of travel. “As travel around the world skyrockets, the
U.S. is mired in a slump. It is time for Congress to address this
growing problem in a way that both strengthens our security and
improves the efficiency of the travel process.”
The Department of Commerce figures reveal that overseas travel
to the U.S. remains below pre-9/11 levels in six of the top eight
overseas markets. Travel to the U.S. in 2006 fell further in five
out of the top eight overseas markets. A 2006 survey of overseas
travelers conducted by the Discover America Partnership found
negative perceptions of the U.S. entry process to be the greatest
deterrent to visiting the country.
While the overall number of international visitors to the U.S.
finally returned to pre-9/11 levels in 2006, travelers from Canada
and Mexico account for the increase. Overseas travel has declined
by 17 percent since 2001. The Discover America Partnership launched
in September 2006 by a group of business leaders and travel
industry leaders, is a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy campaign
designed to educate policymakers on the power of travel; highlight
the unnecessary obstacles to welcoming more visitors; and determine
how the U.S. can better compete for international visitors.
Tourism Cares Announces Winter Grants
Tourism Cares has awarded $70,000 in grants to seven nonprofit
organizations across the globe for Winter 2007. Because most of the
recipients have matching funds, the total economic impact of the
grants will be $120,000, said executive director Bruce Beckham. As
part of its mission, Tourism Cares distributes grants three times a
year to worthy nonprofits worldwide. The organization extended its
scope for the first round of 2007 with four of the seven grants
going to overseas sites.
The Winter 2007 grant recipients include:
Heritage Watch, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; $10,000:Program at Angkor
World Heritage Park educating visitors on how to save Cambodia’s
archaeological heritage. The Jerusalem Foundation, New York City,
N.Y.; $10,000: Project to conserve rare mosaics and frescoes in a
second-century Roman villa near the Ein Yael Living Museum in
The Mountain Institute, Inc., Kathmandu, Nepal; $10,000: Sacred
Sites Trail Project to promote sustainable, community-based
cultural preservation initiatives in the Khumbu Region near Mt.
Everest in the Himalayas. Tourism Cares is a nonprofit organization
with the mission to protect and enhance travel and cultural
experiences through grants for historic sites, student scholarships
for tourism’s future workforce and volunteers for the preservation
and restoration of tourism-related sites.