Categorized | Business

HTA hails Travel Promotion Act


The Hawaii Tourism Authority welcomed news that President Obama has signed the Travel Promotion Act into law. The new legislation will create economic growth and thousands of new American jobs by welcoming millions more international travelers to the United States.

“The Travel Promotion Act is a victorious development for the state of Hawaii. International visitors are a significant part of Hawaii’s visitor industry, accounting for almost 33 percent of Hawaii’s visitor arrivals and contributing $3.7 billion in expenditures. This new legislation will contribute to our efforts to attract more international visitors to the islands,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of HTA. “We appreciate the efforts of Hawaii’s Congressional delegation for their hard work to get this bill passed.”

The Travel Promotion Act is consistent with the direction of HTA’s strategic plan, which focuses on improving Hawaii’s tourism economy, generating more taxes, and most importantly, more jobs. Currently, tourism accounts for nearly 17 percent of the state’s economy and for more than 151,000 Hawaii jobs.

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.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority was created in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with our economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.

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