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Published on Thursday, October 5, 2006

WTTC says US Tourism losing $20bn pa revenue

3 October 2006 - Less than 6 months after WTTC's Global Travel & Tourism Summit held in Washington DC, WTTC and its US Members are determined to call on the~US Government to recognize the state of the industry. The WTTC asserts that "Over the past 15 years the US national economy has lost an average of US$20 billion a year due to the declining status of US Tourism."

According to Travel Industry Association of America calculations, an investment in growth could generate over 8 million extra foreign visitors, US$13.4 billion more GDP and 153,000 more jobs for every one per cent of world market share regained.

WTTC President Jean-Claude Baumgarten asserted that; "The next step needs to be taken in order to firmly cement public and private sector cooperation in a bid to reverse the current trend in the US to lose world market share."

WTTC Chairman Vincent A Wolfington added, "The document"s recommendations must be adequately funded or the US risks continually falling behind its global competitors. An investment in the Travel & Tourism industry now is an investment in not only the economic future of the US but also the social cohesion and security, which contributes to world peace."

WTTC's Manifesto for the US Travel & Tourism Industry outline five recommendations:

The economic and social importance of Travel & Tourism needs to be recognized at the highest levels of government.

US Travel & Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) should be provided with the necessary resources and co-operation from the federal government to assist in achieving the goals laid.

US stakeholders from both government and the private sector should meet at a nationwide conference around the theme Reconquer Markets, Regain Confidence. to regain the status of the USA as the most important Travel & Tourism destination in the world.

The US Government must focus and finish its plans to introduce new security measures based on biometric technology. Leaders of the security industry will play an important role in the proposed nationwide conference.

A strategy should mandate a significant national promotional budget directed towards those markets that represent the greatest potential for the destination. WTTC estimates that US$200 million would be a realistic starting point from which a marketing campaign could make a significant impact.

Valere Tjolle

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