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Public Statements

The Benefits of Travel and Tourism Celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BONNER. Mr. Speaker, from California's Central Coast to Alabama's Gulf Coast and every single Congressional district in between, travel and tourism plays an important economic role in all of our local communities. This week is National Travel and Tourism Week, a celebration of the $2 trillion economic engine that helps drive our nation's economy. As the co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Travel and Tourism caucus, we would like to take this moment to raise awareness for America's number one export and to explain how the ``Travel Effect'' benefits everyone.

The Travel Effect is simple: It is the economic benefit that every single community feels thanks to travel. Supporting over 14.6 million American jobs, the travel industry is a top 10 employer in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Today, one in every eight jobs depends upon travel.

Contributing more than $129 billion to the federal, state and local tax base, the Travel Effect means that Americans pay fewer taxes. Without those added revenues, the average household would pay over $1,000 in additional taxes. At 2.8% of our nation's GDP and growing at a rate faster than all other industries, travel will play an important role in driving down deficits for years to come.

Thanks to our efforts here in Washington, the United States is now promoting the entire country as a premier travel destination to the world. Brand USA, the nation's Destination Marking Organization created by Congress, will help bring in 81 million visitors to the United States by 2016, a 36 percent increase equivalent to 21 million more travelers as compared with 2010. This influx of new visitors will help create over a half a million new jobs in communities all across the country.

And you do not have to live in a coastal district or near a major tourist destination to feel the Travel Effect. Historic sites, museums in your community and other local destinations all play a role in building our travel economy. In other words, travel is right in your own backyard!

During this year's National Travel and Tourism Week, we call on all members to support the travel industry. While the Travel Effect is great now, its potential is even greater. If we recognize that potential in all of our communities, then the Travel Effect will continue to benefit every town across the United States.

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