Washington, D.C. - U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on President Obama's travel and tourism speech at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Thursday:
"President Obama understands that travel and tourism dollars are like pixie dust for the U.S. economy: sprinkle, add a few happy thoughts, and watch it soar.
"Travel already supports one out of every nine U.S. jobs, and has added jobs 49 percent faster than the overall economy since the recession. And inbound international travel counts as an export because it captures foreign dollars; it's the third-largest U.S. export and has grown more than three times faster than other exports last year. International travelers to the U.S. spend an average of $4,500 per visitor, per trip, and they don't consume any public services like health care or education.
"In short, if the president wants an elixir for some of his top economic priorities, like job creation and trade balance, he need look no further than supporting travel. We knew he got it two years ago when he set a goal of attracting 100 million visitors to the U.S. annually by 2021. In effect, his speech in Cooperstown is Part Two: we stated our goal, now here's what we need to do to get there. Almost every proposal he talked about at the Hall of Fame is a no-brainer; making it easier to travel to and within the U.S. will generate enormous economic returns without compromising other priorities, like security, one iota. We thank and congratulate the president for articulating this vision."
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 14.9 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit www.ustravel.org.