Carlson Companies Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Carlson Nelson is serving as vice chair of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The announcement was made by U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez.
The board will work with Secretary Gutierrez to determine how to increase the number of international visitors to the United States and help create a national tourism policy. Travel and tourism added nearly $94 billion to the U.S. economy last year and the industry is directly linked to 7.3 million jobs in the U.S., or one out of eight non-farm jobs. Travel and tourism generate $100 billion in taxes for state and federal coffers.
Fifteen senior U.S. travel and tourism industry executives from across the country serve on the advisory board, to be chaired by James A. Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
Congress appropriated $6 million in 2003 to create an international travel and tourism campaign promoting the United States to people in the United Kingdom, which is a top overseas source market for travelers to the U.S., according to the Commerce Department. The campaign included market and evaluation research, consumer and trade advertising, and promotional initiatives. Cooperative marketing efforts added another $2 million to the value of the campaign, involving more than 80 businesses.
In 2006, the Commerce Department will launch a similar campaign to include Japan and the United Kingdom.