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The United States Senate held a hearing on Tuesday to examine the 2022 National Travel and Tourism Strategy, published by the Department of Commerce.
Led by Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen, Chair of the Commerce Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion, the meeting was designed to analyze the strategy’s attempt to strengthen the global competitiveness of the U.S. travel and tourism industry.
The Subcommittee heard from two panels of witnesses, with the first featuring Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Analysis, Grant Harris, who currently oversees the office that manages all Department of Commerce travel and tourism efforts.
The second panel featured MGM Resorts International CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle and Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean. Both men work for the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
“By following the new National Travel and Tourism Strategy, the federal government can continue to support this growth and help travel and tourism businesses in Nevada and the nation fully recover,” Senator Rosen said during the hearing.
The National Travel and Tourism Strategy was first developed in 2012, but Senator Rosen urged her colleagues to push for the program to be revamped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, the Department of Commerce announced in June a new strategy aimed at boosting the international tourism industry, with ambitious goals of welcoming 90 million international visitors by 2027 and achieving an estimated $279 billion in annual spending.
“Travel tourism strategy has four pillars,” Harris said. “First, promote the United States as a travel destination; second, facilitate travel to and within the United States; third, ensure diverse, inclusive and accessible travel experiences; and fourth, foster resilient and sustainable tourism.”
The National Travel and Tourism Strategy also includes promoting more diverse tourism experiences beyond coastal states, reducing the industry’s contributions to climate change and building a sector that is resilient to natural disasters and public health threats.
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