TI News
 Subscribe TI News Archive

TI News: An information service from Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)

April 21, 2010

Federal Register Notice Published for Board of Directors for the Corporation for Travel Promotion

The Federal Register Notice inviting expressions of interest to serve on the initial Board of Directors of the Corporation for Travel Promotion was published on April 19, 2010. The Corporation will be governed by a board of directors of eleven members. Applicants should be leaders with knowledge of international travel promotion and marketing and who have expertise and experience in specific sectors of the travel and tourism industry. The purpose of the initial Board is to, among other things, serve as incorporators and establish the Corporation for Travel Promotion.

The Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (TPA) was signed into law on March 4, 2010. The TPA:

  • Establishes the Corporation for Travel Promotion (Corporation), a nonprofit entity, to enhance communications of U.S. entry policies and otherwise promote leisure, business and scholarly travel to the United States.
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, to appoint the Corporation’s board of directors, review and approve the Corporation’s annual objectives, and transmit the Corporation’s report to Congress.
  • States that the Corporation shall develop and execute a plan to (A) provide useful information to those interested in traveling to the United States; (B) identify and address perceptions regarding U.S. entry policies; (C) maximize economic and diplomatic benefits of travel to the United States through the use of various promotional tools; and (D) ensure that international travel benefits all States, the District of Columbia and territories, and identify opportunities to promote tourism to rural and urban areas equally, including areas not traditionally visited by international travelers.
  • Funds the Corporation from the collection of a fee assessed on travelers from visa waiver countries in the completion of a form under the DHS requirement for the Electronic System of Travel Authorization (ESTA).
    • In year one, the Corporation is to be funded from a drawdown of up to $10 million.
    • In year two, the drawdown is up to $100 million with a 50% match by industry (80% of the match can be in-kind, 20% must be in cash).
    • In years three, four and five, the drawdown is up to $100 million with 100% industry match.
    • In year six and beyond, funding of the Corporation would be by industry assessment only as the Act sunsets in 2014.
  • Establishes an Office of Travel Promotion within the Commerce Department to serve as a liaison to the Corporation and be responsible for a broad range of additional activities.
  • Authorizes a major expansion of the research programs currently administered by the International Trade Administration’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries.

The intent of the bill is to increase international travel to the United States by improving the image of the United States around the world, thereby creating jobs and stimulating economic growth. An independent analysis by Oxford Economics found that the implementation of the TPA could help create more than $4 billion in consumer spending annually and generate 40,000 new U.S. jobs. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the program will reduce the federal budget deficit by $425 million in the next 10 years.

Selection Criteria
The TPA directs the Secretary of Commerce (after consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State) to appoint the board of directors for the Corporation for Travel Promotion.

Thus, in accordance with the TPA, the Department of Commerce will be selecting individuals with the appropriate expertise and experience from specific sectors of the travel and tourism industry to serve on
the Board as follows:

  1. 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in the hotel accommodations sector;
  2. 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in the restaurant sector;
  3. 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in the small business or retail sector or in associations representing that sector;
  4. 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in the travel distribution services sector;
  5. 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in the attractions or recreations sector;
  6. 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience as officials of a city convention and visitors’ bureau;
  7. 2 shall have appropriate expertise and experience as officials of a State tourism office;
  8. 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in the passenger air sector;
  9. 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in immigration law and policy, including visa requirements and United States entry procedures; and
  10. 1 shall have appropriate expertise in the intercity passenger railroad business.

To be eligible for Board membership, one must have international travel and tourism marketing experience and must also be a U.S. citizen. In addition, individuals cannot be federally registered lobbyists or registered as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended.

Those selected for the initial Board must be able to meet the time and effort commitments of the Board to establish the new Corporation. Priority may be given to individuals with experience as a Chief Executive Officer or President (or comparable level of responsibility) of an organization or entity in the travel and tourism sector in the United States.

Board members will serve at the discretion of the Secretary of Commerce (who may remove any member of the Board for good cause).

The term of office of each member of the Board will be 3 years, except that, of the members first appointed: (A) 3 shall be appointed for terms of 1 year; (B) 4 shall be appointed for terms of 2 years; and (C) 4 shall be appointed for terms of 3 years. Board members can serve a maximum of two consecutive full three-year terms.

Board members are not considered Federal government employees by virtue of their service as a member of the Board and will receive no compensation from the Federal government for their participation in Board activities. Members participating in Board meetings and events will be paid actual travel expenses and per diem when away from their usual places of residence.

To be considered for membership, please provide the following by close of business on May 10, 2010:

  1. Name, title, and personal resume of the individual requesting consideration; and
  2. A brief statement of why the person should be considered for membership on the Board. This statement should also address the individual’s relevant international travel and tourism marketing experience and indicate clearly the sector or sectors enumerated above in which the individual has the requisite expertise and experience.

Individuals who have the requisite expertise and experience in more than one sector can be appointed from only one of those sectors.

For more information on board membership and selection criteria, please see the Federal Register Notice -
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-8856.pdf.

For more information on the economic impact of international visitors to the U.S. travel and tourism industry and other pertinent information, please visit the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries’ website: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov.