Travellers to face paying $10 towards tourism promotion body
March 2nd, 2010 by elisa

Foreign travellers to the US face paying a fee of $10 to help fund a planned new body to promote tourism to the country. The Corporation for Travel Promotion public-private partnership is due to be approved by President Obama after winning Senate approval.

The initiative is funded through a matching program of up to $100 million in private sector contributions and a $10 fee on visitors to the US who do not pay $131 for a visa to enter the country. The fee will be collected once every two years in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. This will mean the US taxpayer will avoid making any contribution.

The Corporation will work with the US departments of Commerce, Homeland Security and State to develop a nationally co-ordinated, multi-channel marketing and communications program to attract more international visitors and explain changing travel security policies.

Caroline Beteta, chair of the US Travel Association and president and CEO of the California Travel & Tourism Commission, said: “We know how successful a public-private partnership to promote travel can be from our own experience at the state level.

“With the best minds coming together from government and private industry to boost international travel to our country, we can make travel an even stronger economic engine for America.”

Commenting on legislation which establishes the Corporation, US Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow said: “The United States Congress has sent a clear message that travel is a high priority to our nation and that tangible steps must be taken to increase travel to and within the United States.”

It has also been reported that US airlines must also take an active role in the new partnership, not out of good-will, but out of self-interest by purchasing advertising space on the website once the site traffic has increased and thus improving their own exposure.

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