Ms. BERKLEY. I thank the gentlelady for yielding, and I particularly thank Mr. Delahunt for his steadfast leadership on this issue.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the Travel Promotion Act. In these difficult economic times, this bill is vital for our Nation's economy. It is essential to my hometown and congressional district of Las Vegas, which is the very definition of tourism and travel.
Last year, the United States lost nearly 200,000 travel-related jobs. In my district of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, we've been hit particularly hard, with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and a hotel occupancy rate just about as low as we've ever seen it.
This bill will bring back these jobs and put Americans back to work. Independent economists say that for every dollar we spend on this program, we will bring in $3 of increased revenue from added jobs and economic growth that will be created by increased tourism to our country. And this could be accomplished without adding to our national debt.
Every State in our Nation benefits from tourism. Tourism is one of the largest industries in America. Whether you have mountains, beaches, amusement parks, vineyards, ballparks, historic monuments or gaming, we all benefit from this bill.
This is a great piece of legislation that will help energize our economy at a time when we need it most. I urge support for this bill.