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Secretary Evans Announces Advisory Board Chair & Vice Chair

SECRETARY EVANS ANNOUNCES CHAIR & VICE CHAIR
OF U.S. TRAVEL AND TOURISM BOARD

Commerce Secretary Don Evans today announced that James A. Rasulo, President of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will serve as Chair and Noel Irwin Hentschel, Chair and CEO of American Tours International (ATI) will serve as Vice Chair on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board. Rasulo and Irwin Hentschel will lead the board in advising Evans on how best to increase the number of international visitors to the United States and ensure that the share of the country’s international receipts continues to grow.

“ We are fortunate to have such distinguished and experienced business leaders in the tourism industry heading our board,” Evans said. “I am confident they will direct the board in making the best recommendations on how to revive international travel to the United States and in providing guidance on how to better showcase the diversity of our nation’s heritage, culture and destinations to the international marketplace.”

Rasulo was named president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in September 2002 and is responsible for Disney’s theme parks and resorts around the world. He also manages long-term growth and international expansion initiatives. He has served as executive vice president of Euro Disney S.C.A. and served as president and C.O.O. in 1999. He first joined the Walt Disney Company in 1986 as director and senior vice president of Corporate Strategic Planning.

Irwin Hentschel founded ATI in 1977, one of America’s most successful travel organizations and the third largest woman-owned business in Los Angeles. Irwin Hentschel has served on many boards including the California Chamber of Commerce and the Travel Industry Association of America.

Rasulo and Irwin Hentschel are members of the 15-member travel and tourism advisory board that was announced August 1, 2003. Earlier this year, President Bush approved a $50 million appropriation to create an international travel and tourism marketing and promotional campaign. The campaign will focus on four to six of the top markets that have historically sent travelers to the United States. The campaign will include market and evaluation research, consumer and trade advertising and promotional efforts focused on earned and unearned media. There also will be a matching grants program to support regional promotion efforts. The first meeting of the Board is scheduled for September 8, 2003 in New York City.

For more information on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board, visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/about/us_promo_campaign/index.html.

**NOTE: Bios of Rasulo and Irwin Hentschel are attached**