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Akaka, Inouye co-sponsor Travel Promotion Act

MEDIA RELEASE

A bill that establishes a non-profit corporation to promote U.S. leisure, business and scholarly travel to foreign visitors has passed the U.S. Senate.

The Travel Promotion Act of 2009, co-sponsored and supported by Sens. Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye, is aimed at promoting foreign travel and tourism to the United States. 

The measure will also help better communicate U.S. entry policies to international visitors.

The legislation creates an Office of Travel Promotion within the Department of Commerce to coordinate with the corporation.

“Tourism and the conventions, meetings and incentive industry are crucial to Hawaii’s economy, but they are vulnerable to international events and fluctuations,” Akaka said. “This legislation would encourage people to visit the U.S. by helping potential visitors navigate tightened post-9/11 travel policies, and by competing with other countries’ marketing campaigns. Promoting international travel is a solid investment in our economy.” 

Inouye said Hawaii is positioned as a gateway between Asia and the mainland.

“As the global economy sputters our visitor industry suffers and any help the federal government can provide our number one industry would aid our economic recovery,” he said.  “Both developing countries and industrialized economies around the world have ministers and offices that promote travel to their respective countries but the U.S. does not. This legislation is an important first step in the right direction.”

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