NORFOLK, VA, March 9, 2010 – Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau president and CEO, Anthony DiFilippo, joined travel leaders nationwide this week to welcome news that President Obama has signed the Travel Promotion Act into law late last week. The new legislation will create economic growth and thousands of new American jobs by welcoming millions more international travelers to the United States.
“Norfolk is a unique, American destination whose international message and reach becomes stronger when promoted collectively abroad under a national United States brand,” said DiFilippo. “This law does just that and I applaud our representatives in Congress for embracing travel as an economic stimulant and getting this bill to the President for his signature.”
According to DiFilippo, Norfolk is an attractive destination for international visitors coming to the United States and has noticed an uptick of visitors from Canada, the U.K. and Germany. “Our mid-Atlantic location makes an ideal introduction to international guests visiting the U.S.,” said DiFilippo. “Norfolk is a great American city, situated along one of the country’s most historical and important waterfronts and has been welcoming visitors to these shores for more than 400 years. We look forward to continuing that grand tradition and to celebrating that history during National Tourism Week this May.”
In celebration of National Tourism Week May 8-16, 2010, the Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau will recognize top hospitality workers, including naming a “Hospitality Worker of the Year,” at the annual National Tourism Week Rally on Wednesday, May 12th at 1:30pm at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center.
“This is a historic victory for the U.S. economy and the one in eight American workers whose jobs depend on travel,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “The United States Congress has sent a clear message that travel is a high priority to our nation and that tangible steps must be taken to increase travel to and within the United States. We are extremely grateful to President Obama and to the bill’s champions: Senators Reid, Dorgan, Ensign and Klobuchar in the Senate and Representatives Delahunt, Blunt and Farr in the House.”
The Travel Promotion Act establishes a public-private partnership to promote the United States as a premier international travel destination and communicate U.S. security and entry policies. According to analysis by Oxford Economics, the bill is estimated to drive $4 billion in new consumer spending annually, provide $321 million in new federal tax revenue each year and create 40,000 U.S. jobs nationwide. Further, it is expected to reduce the federal budget deficit by $425 million over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Overseas visitors spend an average of more than $4,000 when they visit the United States.
The Travel Promotion Act is modeled after successful state-level initiatives and is funded through a matching program featuring up to $100 million in private sector contributions and a $10 fee on foreign travelers who do not pay $131 for a visa to enter the United States. The fee is collected once every two years in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization. No money is provided by U.S. taxpayers.
~ Norfolk, Virginia ~For four hundred years the dynamic heart of Virginia’s storied sea front region, Norfolk attracts thousands of travelers each year to enjoy its lively downtown waterfront and 144 miles of shimmering coastline. Offering a vibrant blend of history and heritage with contemporary attractions, outdoor adventure and the Commonwealth’s most revered cultural institutions, Norfolk is an exciting destination. Here, where the Elizabeth River meets the Chesapeake Bay, visitors will find an easily walkable downtown that offers eclectic dining options, a rich arts scene, high-end shopping and year-round special events. For more information about Norfolk, visit the city on the Web at www.visitnorfolktoday,com or call 757-664-6620 or toll free at 800-368-3097.
~U.S. Travel Association~The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $770 billion travel industry. U.S. Travel’s mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States. For more information, visit www.ustravel.org.