NCSL Letter on the Travel Promotion of 2009

 June 16, 2009 

The Honorable Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
United States Senate
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20510   

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader
 United States Senate
361A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.   20510




Dear Majority Leader Reid and Senator McConnell:

As the Senate prepares to take up the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, S. 1023, we write to inform you that the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) supports this bill and encourages its passage.  This support is conditioned, however, with the strong encouragement that a state legislator, to be nominated by NCSL, be included on the Board of Directors for the newly created Corporation for Travel Promotion.

Travel and tourism industries are powerful economic generators in all 50 states, accounting for $740 billion in expenditures, $110 billion in local, state and federal taxes and 7.5 million jobs in 2007.  In terms of trade, travel is America’s leading service sector export, generating $142 billion in 2008 from international travelers.  This indicates an increase of 16% over 2007 and a 77% increase over post September 11, 2001 declines.

Legislatures in all 50 states appreciate the economic value of travel and tourism industries and currently operate programs to promote their states to travelers domestically and internationally.  NCSL policy recognizes the importance of tourism to state economic development and service sector employment and it encourages the federal government to work collaboratively with the states to ensure the vitality of this sector of the economy.  In light of the importance of travel and tourism to state economies, state lawmakers are concerned about the dramatic effects that restrictions and impediments to cross-border travel can have on America's domestic tourism industry and we support efforts by the Congress to ensure homeland security while keeping America a welcoming and easy place for international tourists.

State legislators believe the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 will encourage international tourists to travel to America to the benefit of all states. It is essential that the federal program work collaboratively and complementarily with state programs.  Since state travel and tourism promotion programs operate under authority granted by and with funding provided by state legislatures, we believe that it is important for a state legislator to sit on the Corporation for Travel Promotion Board of Directors.

Thank you for focusing attention on this important economic driver.  A copy of NCSL’s policy is enclosed for your information.  If you have any questions, your staff can contact Diana Hinton Noel (202-624-7779 or or Paul Snow (202-624-8683 or in NCSL’s Washington office.


Speaker Joe Hackney
North Carolina House of Representatives
President, NCSL 

Representative Brent Yonts
Kentucky House of Representatives
Chair, NCSL Labor and Economic Development Committee

Policy: NCSL Supports Travel Promotion and Tourism Action Calendar Resolution