76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008



WHEREAS, travel and tourism is a powerful economic generator in all 50 states, accounting for an expected $740 billion in expenditures, $110 billion in local, state and federal taxes and

7.5 million jobs in 2007; and

WHEREAS, travel is America’s leading service sector export, generating $107.9 billion in 2007 from international travelers;and

WHEREAS, travel and tourism creates one of the nation’s only balance of trade surpluses (valued at $8.3 billion in 2007); and

WHEREAS, the world travel market is expanding, but the U.S. share has declined 35 percent over the past 15 years; and

WHEREAS, travel to the United States from “overseas” destinations has yet to rebound to pre-9/11 levels; and

WHEREAS, since 9/11 the United States is often perceived to no longer be a friendly and welcoming destination, which has cost America $150 billion in lost visitor spending and 250,000 American jobs – losses that affect every city across the country; and

WHEREAS, international travelers are 74 percent more likely to have a favorable opinion of America and Americans after having visited; and

WHEREAS, all major industrialized nations except the United States have national tourism policies and spend significant funds on promoting their destinations overseas, and, in turn, see substantial returns on their investments; and

WHEREAS, the facilitation of secure, yet efficient, travel across American borders must be a priority of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, U.S. Senator Dorgan of North Dakota and U.S. Representative Delahunt of Massachusetts have introduced companion bills in Congress each entitled the Travel Promotion Act, which creates a public-private partnership to educate travelers about U.S. travel policies and promote the United States as a destination of choice; and

WHEREAS, the Travel Promotion Act will benefit every city, create jobs, enhance national security, contribute to a favorable balance of trade for the U.S. economy, and improve our national image around the world; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) now calls upon the U.S. Congress to promptly pass the Travel Promotion Act (S. 1661/H.R. 3232) and thus create a public-private partnership that will restore the U.S. to its place as the world's premier international visitor destination; and