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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

United States to Create a National Travel and Tourism Office

As my blog is all about promoting growth markets in tourism, this is a very exciting story from NTA...

Article link: http://www.ntaonline.com/articles/index.cfm?action=view&articleID=2633&menuID=791#Headline4

United States to Create a National Travel and Tourism Office

As longtime advocates for an increased federal focus on travel and tourism, NTA applauds approval of a National Travel and Tourism Office, which was a recommendation included in the 2012 National Travel and Tourism Strategy. The creation of the office, resulting from a consolidation and reorganization of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, is expected to be operational by Oct. 1.

Carlos Montoulieu, acting deputy assistant secretary for Services Industries, ITA, U.S. DOC, shared the news today with industry leaders during a conference call, during which he also asked for feedback during the implementation period.

"With this news, travel and tourism continues to win," said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP, who participated in today's call. "This is significant for every player in the industry—and for the U.S. and world economies."
Simon also credited the Obama administration and both the House and Senate travel and tourism caucuses for continuing to elevate tourism.

"This is the best it's ever been," she remarked about the support travel and tourism is receiving at a national level. "For many years NTA has called for and actively advocated for an executive travel and tourism office. With the elevated focus that our industry will now receive, complemented by the good work of Brand USA and everyone in the field, it bodes so well for the future."

During the call, Montoulieu said this transition to a National Travel and Tourism Office was a "bump up." The head of this office would report directly to the assistant secretary for Industry and Analysis, rather than reporting to the deputy assistant secretary for Service Industries, which is the current structure.

The ITA is undergoing the consolidation to enhance connectivity with the industry, to improve effectiveness and as a cost savings which will be redirected to priority programs. ITA will be transitioned from four to three business units (regions, industries and enforcement/compliance). The National Travel and Tourism Office will fall under the newly created Industry and Analysis unit.
Many people in the industry are familiar with the work of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Services and the Office and Travel and Tourism Industries. Montoulieu said budgetary discussion related to OTTI would occur and that the work of Commercial Service would in fact see an increase.

Also, ITA's mission would remain the same with a focus "to create prosperity by strengthening the international competitiveness of U.S. industry, promoting trade and investment, and ensuring fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements."

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