We here at InsideOut just got an exciting email from Jay Karen, the president of PAII, announcing he has been working as a lobbyist for our industry in DC.

He has been speaking with lawmakers about House Resolution 2935, a.k.a. the Travel Promotion Act. The goal of the bill is to create America’s first “destination marketing organization”. This group would be a non-profit organization called the “Corporation for Travel Promotion”, and would manage the tourism promotion of the United States to international travelers.

If you didn’t know, international travel to the United States is down significantly in the last 8 years. We have fewer tourists today than in 2001. As far as keeping up with the competition, we are the only nation in our “competitive set” that does not have a budget for promoting our nation as a travel destination. It seems, with all of our breathtaking National parks and natural beauty, we would encourage an income that allowed us to keep these spaces open and wild. Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone are just some of the wonders of our continent that have drawn visitors for years, and can continue to do so.  The average international tourist spends $4500 during a visit to the US. These are important numbers to a struggling economy.

The bill is also set-up to allow the Corporation to pay for itself. It includes a $10 entry fee for visitors that would fund the Corporations’ efforts.

There are things you can do to support this bill, and help to bolster travel from our neighbors and friends abroad. Contact your House of Representatives Official via the US Travel Association. Let them know that this bill effects you. After all, we know how much international visitors enjoy the bed and breakfast experience!