January 26, 2012

White House taps 12 ABA members for tourism board

Twelve members of the American Bus Association (ABA) were among the tourism industry professionals appointed by the White House to serve on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

The board advises the Secretary of Commerce on issues affecting foreign visitors to the U.S., including travel facilitation, visa policy, improving the international travel entry experience, aviation security, energy security, crisis communications, and research and data, among other issues.

“It’s fantastic to see so many ABA members represented on this prestigious committee,” said ABA President/CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS. “This is a great group of leaders from our industry, and they are representative of the diversity of the travel and tourism community.

“As they help to shape the country’s tourism policies in the years ahead, we hope that they will push the administration to implement policies that will bolster domestic as well as international tourism.”

The ABA members named to the panel are:

•    Todd Davidson, CEO, Travel Oregon

•    Holly Agra, president, Chicago’s First Lady Tours

•    Maureen Bausch, executive VP of business development, Mall of America

•    Linda Carlisle, secretary, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

•    Elliott Ferguson, president/CEO, Destination DC

•    Hubert Joly, president/CEO, Carlson Companies

•    Kathleen Matthews, executive VP, Marriott International

•    J. Stephen Perry, president/CEO, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

•    Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

•    Ronald Solimon, president/CEO, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Inc. and Indian Pueblos Marketing Inc.

•    John Sprouls, CEO, Universal Orlando Resort and executive VP, Universal parks and resorts

•    Christopher Thompson, president/CEO, Visit Florida

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