Panel to Promote Tourism to U.S.

A special promotion board has been established to boost international travelers to the United States.

By: TravelAge West Staff

A special U.S. tourism promotion board has been established with the goal of boosting the number of international travelers to the United States. The Department of Commerce said the board will advise Secretary Don Evans on promotion efforts designed to increase international travel to the United States.

The board is comprised of 15 travel and tourism industry leaders and was culled from nearly 130 applicants, the department said.

The board will have a budget of approximately $50 million for tourism marketing, which was approved earlier this year by President Bush.

The campaign will include market and evaluation research, consumer and trade advertising. Funding for the program will also include matching grants for regional promotion efforts.

The travel and tourism industry is responsible for about 17 million direct and indirect travel-related jobs in the United States, and last year, generated $84 billion.

Four members of the board from the West are: Manuel Cortez, president and CEO, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority; Noel Irwin Hentschel, chairman and CEO, American Tours International in Los Angeles; James A. Rasulo, president, Walt Disney Park & Resorts, Burbank, Calif.; and Chris von Imhof, president, Alaska International Airport Tourism Marketing Council, Girdwood, Alaska. Other members include Henry Silverman, president and CEO, Cendant Corp.; Barry Sternlicht, chairman and CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Glenn Tilton, chairman and CEO, United Airlines; J.W. Marriott Jr., chairman and CEO, Marriott International Inc., Washington, D.C.; and Jonathan Linen, vice chairman, American Express.

The board’s first meeting is set for Sept. 8 in New York City.

More information on the board: index.html.

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