President Barack Obama signed the Travel Promotion Act (TPA) into law today, ending a multi-year legislative journey that now embarks upon the legislation’s implementation phase.
“Thank you, Mr. President, for your signature today—the American lodging industry will take the opportunities given through this legislation and make the most of it,” remarked American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) President and CEO Joseph McInerney. “There have been many industries and companies involved with the long legislative campaign to get this bill to the president’s desk, from our association, the U.S. Travel Association, Asian American Hotel Owners Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, all the leading top hotel brands, and the hundreds of AH&LA members who took the time to contact their members of Congress to let them know how important this bill was to their livelihood.”
AH&LA has long promoted legislation that would re-establish America’s overseas tourist promotion program. When the Travel Promotion Act was first introduced in the 109th Congress, AH&LA took the lead to educate the U.S. lodging industry as to the many benefits the legislation would deliver to hoteliers in increased jobs, sales, and visitors. AH&LA lobbying efforts included numerous grassroots advisories, visits to key Congressional lawmakers, and even at the request of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) a appearance by AH&LA President Joseph McInerney to a 2009 U.S. Senate hearing to explain the legislation’s many benefits to the industry.
President Obama signed the bipartisan bill in a White House ceremony this morning. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and several members of Congress witnessed the president’s signature.
President Obama was a co-sponsor of the legislation in the 110th Congress and supports the efforts of the travel industry to create new jobs to support his Administration’s stated mission of economic recovery this year. His recent remarks in Las Vegas about TPA also signaled his support of the bill and what it will achieve to boost international tourism and improve the image of the United States abroad.
The Travel Promotion Act’s next steps include creating the Corporation for Travel Promotion, a public-private entity managed by the Commerce Department that will begin the job of promoting the United States to international visitors. If all goes well, the first set of advertisements may be released in early 2011.