Great News - President Obama Signs the Travel Promotion Act

March 5, 2010
President Obama Signs Travel Promotion Act Thank you, Mr. President!  President Obama signed the Travel Promotion Act into law this week, representing a great victory for our business and the U.S. economy.  We’ve been working on this for years and the credit goes to Senators Reid, Dorgan and Ensign and Congressmen Blunt and Delahunt for a job very well done.  They had great bipartisan support—which is hard to come by these days!

I've blogged about the Travel Promotion Act – or TPA, as we call it – before, and thanks to all of you who weighed in with Congress. It sure paid off.  TPA is historic.  For the first time in our nation’s history we’ll have a promotional campaign to attract international visitors to the United States, and, boy, do we need it.  In 2009 the U.S. welcomed 2.4 million fewer visitors than we did in 2000, while 46 million more travelers were taking long-haul trips.

A new study from Oxford Economics has quantified this “lost decade” for the industry.  In the report, it shows that failure to keep up with this growth in global travel has cost the US economy nearly 70 million visitors, $500 billion in lost revenue, and over 440,000 jobs!  We sure need those jobs back, and the Travel Promotion Act will help bring more visitors here by marketing “brand America” and explaining U.S. security policies.  There is no cost to U.S. taxpayers, and the Congressional Budget Office reports TPA will reduce the deficit by $425 million dollars in the next 10 years.

While TPA is certainly important, we still have work to do to improve our visa and entry processes so that as we welcome more visitors, we ensure they have a positive experience.  Commerce Secretary Locke will be getting the program up and running, so good luck Mr. Secretary, and know the industry is behind you and willing to help where we can.

At Marriott, we’re looking forward to welcoming more travelers to our hotels.  We’re open for business and finally we will be able to tell the world that the United States is open for business, too!

I’m Bill Marriott, and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Great News President Obama Signs the Travel Promotion Act

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I sincerely doubt that adding $10 to a vacation that costs, on average, $4,500--not even including airfares and the private airlines' $25 fee for having the audacity to carry luggage--will change people's travel plans. That's less than 1/4 of 1 percent. Does anyone honestly believe that someone wanting to travel from Europe or even farther, with air tickets, hotels, food, tickets to museums, theaters, and whatever else will totally change his plans and go somewhere else because of a $10 fee? Come on, people! Let's get reasonable! This is taking the already humorous American tax-phobia to a "whole nutha level"!

We ( as a government) think extra taxes on the common users is always the answer. You are missing the point Mr. Marriott and are attending too many of Mr. (Not my President) Obama's coctailarties in DC.
You are losing your best customers sir!!!!!!!
I hope you are listening.

Its disappointing that Marriott supports yet another travel tax as this will only hurt the travel industry.

I disagree with the positive news - watch how long it takes for other countries to start taxing Americans to visit.

With respect, taxing visitors is idiotic. While the TPA might be good for promoting America, it is surely counterproductve to then tax the people who you have attracted. I would bet that only the USA has such a bizarre approach for promoting itself. Instead of taxing visitors, how about instead paying visitors $10 a day. That would fill your hotels quicker than anything.

Charging visitors or "taxing" them is not the solution. Solution is to let the people visit on their own will, without the "extra" charge of doing so.

I am always opposed when government, especially at the federal level, get's involved. That typically means disaster and government isn't known for managing anything well. Government has no competition, and therefore lacks the skills to effectively see this process through.

The only thing government does well is taxing the people.

Great news; a $10 fee will not deter vistors; South America has a very hefty vistor's fee and tourism is doing just fine there.

Hey, by the way I have I have 2 timeshares with Silverleaf Resorts, Inc.,and 1 Wyndham Disc. I and my family love it we would not give up for nothing.

Hi! I'm please send some infor on touring the MARRIOTT, by the way BILL MARRIOTT GOD BLESS YOU I and my family send you the best of wishes ,hope you, your family and all your staff do well in this in this histroy making. Good Luck. Also,I AM.. here for the long..... HAUL!

I'm sorry Bill, but I heartily disagree with you.

For a foreign visitor like myself, it's yet another excess charge to enter the USA, so rather than attracting visitors, it will have the effect of turning visitors away, and consider other destinations.

Whilst the "act" is not a visa, it gives the impression and feel of one, carried out at government level.

Maybe the EU should consider reciprocating with a 10 euro surcharge for American Visitors to "promote" the area?

Whilst I will happily continue to patronage the USA, I won't be recommending my friends... and their friends to visit the USA (Combined with the other travel issues that a person faces when travelling to the states)

How does charging visitors a tax encourage tourism?

You are right that simplifying entry processes and making them more friendly will help. But there is no need to tax visitors in order to make those kind of changes.

Mr. Marriott,

Can you summarize, in a short paragraph or two the heart of TPA?