Senate Democrats

Why Tourism Matters

The last decade has been called the “lost decade” for tourism in the United States. Declines in foreign visitors to our country cost 440,000 jobs and $509 billion in lost spending, according to a report by the U.S. Travel Association.

“While international travel has been an oasis of opportunity, we’re still lost in the desert,” said Roger Dow, U.S. Travel’s president and CEO. “We can’t afford another lost decade when we’re looking for ways to kick-start the economy and create jobs.”

Senate Democrats couldn’t agree more, which is why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is introducing the Travel Promotion Act this week. A vote could come as early as Friday. This legislation will create a non-profit corporation to develop national marketing to entice foreign visitors and keep them informed of security regulations they will encounter on their arrival.

“All around the world, countries advertise their tourism. All we see on TV is money being spent by other countries having us go to their countries,” said Reid. “We want to do the same in their countries.”