TRAVEL AND TOURISM

WHEREAS, the travel and tourism industry in an important part of national, state, and local economies and helps to foster the livability of America's cities; and

WHEREAS, in the last decade, travel and tourism has emerged as America's second largest services export and third largest retail sales industry; and

WHEREAS, the industry has generated a balance of trade surplus of $17 billion and is a vital job-creation engine for our nation's economy; and

WHEREAS, in 2001, the travel and tourism industry generated 16 percent $196 million- of total U.S. exports; and

WHEREAS, travel and tourism had a direct and indirect domestic economic impact of more than $582 billion in 2000; and

WHEREAS, international visitors spent an estimated $106.5 billion in the U.S. in 2000; and

WHEREAS, more than 18 million Americans are employed in travel and tourism-related jobs, with an annual payroll of $159 billion; and

WHEREAS, the industry is the first, second or third largest industry in 28 states and the District of Columbia; and

WHEREAS, it is estimated that in 2000, travel and tourism generated $99.5 billion in tax revenues for federal, state, and local governments; and

WHEREAS, the tragic events of September 11 dramatically and adversely affected the interests of employers, and employees throughout the travel and tourism industry; and

WHEREAS, a more coordinated and enhanced federal effort needs to be undertaken to promote the travel and tourism industry,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages the President to establish a Presidential Advisory Council on Travel and Tourism to foster tourism policy development and coordination within the federal government, and to raise awareness of the economic impact of travel and tourism; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that funding be established for an International Destination Marketing Campaign to create a national identity for the U.S. as a premier travel destination and that those funds be allocated directly to local governments; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Conference of Mayors Travel and Tourism Task Force work with the Travel Business Roundtable to examine other actions that might be undertaken by federal, state and local governments to assist the travel and tourism industry.