Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Representative Delahunt for working diligently to ensure the passage of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009. As the U.S. slips further behind other countries in attracting international visitors, we must take a look at how we are promoting and marketing our country, and find innovative solutions to strengthen the travel industry. I am proud to be a sponsor of this legislation in House.
The Travel Promotion Act addresses some of the important strategies that will provide greater outreach to international tourists and find ways to bring them here--to visit, to spend, and to learn about our country.
In my state of Vermont, our tourism economy is one of the most precious and valuable economic development engines we have. From our small bed and breakfast sector, to our crafts, and our cultural festivals, to being the home of Ben & Jerry's and some of the best skiing in the country--Vermont is a tourist destination, and this legislation will help it grow.
However, I want to also point out the importance of supporting cultural tourism in this country. This legislation and its implementation should remember that not all states have a major theme park or world-class resorts. But all states have cultural and heritage resources that are valuable and critical to tourism. I hope that when this legislation is implemented, cultural tourism will be strengthened through it.
I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in supporting this important legislation.