Titus Praises New National Strategy to Reenergize U.S. Travel and Tourism
Las Vegas, Nevada, June 7, 2022 | Sara Severens (202-924-1719)
Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01), co-chair of the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus, released the following statement after the announcement of a new National Travel and Tourism Strategy that focuses federal government efforts to support the U.S. travel and tourism industry.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01), co-chair of the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus, released the following statement after the announcement of a new National Travel and Tourism Strategy that focuses federal government efforts to support the U.S. travel and tourism industry. This plan sets a five-year goal of attracting 90 million international visitors to the United States each year. It is estimated these visitors would spend $279 billion annually, expenditures that will support job creation in communities across the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia.
“During the pandemic, Las Vegas had the highest unemployment of any metropolitan area in the country due to our heavy dependence on the travel and tourism industry,” said Rep. Titus. “I introduced the Economic Development Promotion and Resiliency Act and the Visit America Act to assist the U.S. in revitalizing this key creator of jobs and economic growth. The Biden Administration’s new Travel and Tourism strategy complements provisions in these two bills. Every place features something people want to visit, whether it’s the world’s largest ball of twine or the fabulous Las Vegas Strip.”
In April, Congresswoman Titus introduced the Economic Development Promotion and Resiliency Act. This bill would develop a program to spur economic development in communities that have experienced employment and GDP losses in the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors. It would also assist communities in hiring professionals to assist with predevelopment activities and grant applications and provide States with additional time to deploy COVID-19 relief funding.
In March, Congresswoman Titus introduced the Visit America Act which would create an assistant secretary position within the Department of Commerce focused on coordinating travel and tourism policy across federal stakeholders. It would also authorize the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board to serve as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce and require the development of a national travel and tourism strategy every 10 years that sets forth goals for international visitation and travel exports, and ensures domestic policy is optimal for achieving these priorities.
The travel and tourism sector has historically been a critical force in economic growth and employment in the United States, especially for Nevada. In 2020, the Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office reported that the decline in travel and tourism to and within the United States accounted for 56% of the decline in U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), and travel exports dropped 65% in 2020 when compared to 2019, or pre-pandemic levels.
Throughout 2021, as the Biden-Harris Administration implemented a robust vaccine rollout and effective travel policies centered around health and safety, along with lifting travel restrictions when it was safe to do so, monthly overseas arrivals to the United States increased from roughly 775,000 in October 2021 to more than 2 million in April 2022. As a result, international travel to the United States has generated a trade surplus in each of the past five months indicating a positive trend toward recovery even as international travel remains below pre-pandemic levels.###