Bill could help U.S. travel pick up

John Dimsdale Sep 9, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Bill could help U.S. travel pick up

John Dimsdale Sep 9, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: In other news, the Senate is expected to vote yes today on a new measure to attract tourism. Our country’s gotten less welcoming to visitors since the terrorist attacks eight years ago —
we do all these border checks now and passenger screenings. Marketplace’s John Dimsdale says the new initiative
would try to win people back.


John Dimsdale: The bill sets up a nonprofit corporation to coordinate all the country’s private sector tourism promotion programs. It would raise as much as a hundred million dollars a year by collecting a ten dollar fee from many foreign visitors. Then the private industry will have to match the government funds before they can be spent. The industry predicts the extra effort could attract another million and a half tourists from overseas.

Some critics complain this is another government intrusion into the private sector. But Jeff Freeman of the U.S. Travel Association says government border screenings, set up after 9/11, have discouraged visitors.

Jeff Freemman: All the private sector is saying here is at the very least, the government should be our partner in limiting the negative impact of those barriers. Around the world right now, people question whether or not they’re welcome in the United States. The government must be a partner with the private sector in sending that welcoming message.

Freeman says the average foreign tourist brings over $4,000 into the U.S. economy. And it looks like there is enough support in the Senate, which is likely to send the bill on to the House sometime today.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.

Raise a glass to Marketplace!

Just $7/month gets you a limited edition KaiPA pint glass. Plus bragging rights that you support independent journalism.
Donate today to get yours!