As two key Cabinet Secretaries announced plans to grow the U.S. tourism and travel industry, American Bus Association (ABA) President and CEO Peter Pantuso and ABA’s Senior Vice President Clyde Hart attended the Washington, D.C. event as the new National Travel and Tourism Strategy report was released by Secretary of Commerce John Bryson and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
When President Obama’s administration earlier this year called for the creation of this national tourism strategy, the ABA strongly supported that measure because it believes tourism — and in particular domestic tourism — is the key to a strong and vibrant economy. In 2011, U.S. and international travelers spent $807 billion that generated $1.2 trillion in total economic activity and supported 7.6 million American jobs.
The large majority of that economic growth and the 80% of the jobs it created come from the strong U.S. domestic travel industry. The ABA strongly agrees that increasing domestic travel must remain as the highest priority.
The report makes several key points about ways to improve domestic and international tourism opportunities and the ABA agrees with all of them, in particular:
• Improve visitor services at federally managed sites.
• Foster a skilled hospitality and tourism industry workforce labor.
• Support small business in travel and tourism.
“The ABA is proud to have been a partner to help create this essential strategy to improve our nation’s tourism opportunities. The motorcoach, tourism and travel industry has tens of thousands of jobs, many in companies run by small and medium sized, family owned businesses. We are very pleased with the report and we will do our part to continue to promote and grow the U.S. tourism industry, especially when it comes to domestic tourism,” said ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso.