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America, Illustrated:…

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Obama Administration Announces National Strategy on Travel and Tourism to Boost Visitation to the United States



Media Contacts:

Kelly Schulz or Jennifer Day

New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

504-566-5019                                                / 



Obama Administration Announces National Strategy on Travel and Tourism to Boost Visitation to the United States

Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans CVB, attends Obama announcement and is reappointed for third term as a member of the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board


NEW ORLEANS - January 20, 2012 - In a first for the U.S., on January 19, President Barack Obama announced a national strategy for travel and tourism to boost travel to the United States. The New Orleans tourism industry was represented at the announcement as Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Stephen Perry was in attendance where he was later sworn in by Secretary of Commerce John Bryson to serve a third term on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. 

Perry has volunteered at the national level with industry advocacy groups such as the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and the U.S. Travel Association which have been working closely with policy makers to shape strategies which will benefit businesses across the country. Through their work and with the support of thousands of hospitality industry stakeholders, this announcement brings exciting new possibilities for the economy.

"Today is a very important day for the American economy," said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). "President Obama recognizes the growing spending power of countries such as China and Brazil. Taking steps to open those markets in a safe and responsible manner will result in thousands of new visitors for the United States and New Orleans. It is incredibly rewarding to witness the president acknowledge the economic power and importance of the travel industry."

The U.S. travel industry is a cornerstone of the U.S. economy, representing 1.8 trillion in economic output and supporting 14 million American jobs. In New Orleans, tourism generates 5 billion dollars in economic impact per year and supports 74,000 local jobs.

President Obama's announcement calls for a national strategy to make the United States the world's top travel and tourism destination, as part of a comprehensive effort to spur job creation. The number of travelers from emerging economies with growing middle classes - such as China, Brazil, and India - is projected to grow by 135%, 274% and 50% respectively by 2016 when compared to 2010.

By way of Executive Order, the president has charged several government agencies to take part in efforts and new initiatives to significantly increase travel. Some of the initiatives include: a new pilot program and rule change for visa processing in China and Brazil, a final rule to expand and make the Global Entry program permanent, appoint new members to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, and the Nomination of Taiwan to the Visa Waiver Program.

Stephen Perry has served as a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board since 2008 under the Bush Administration. He was asked to continue his service under the Obama Administration and has now been nominated for a third consecutive term. Perry is only one of two CVB presidents to sit on this board and advise U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary John Bryson and the President of the United States on all key matters relating to national travel and tourism policy.

The nomination is a tremendous honor for New Orleans' hospitality industry, as Perry is one of 32 hospitality industry CEOs appointed to serve on this board. It places him among other tourism luminaries such as Robin Hayes, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, JetBlue Airways; Kathleen Matthews, Executive Vice President, Marriott International, Inc.; Doug Parker, Chief Executive Officer, US Airways; Rossi Ralenkotter, President and Chief Executive Officer, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; Steven Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, Johns Hopkins Medicine International; Rosemarie Andolino, Commissioner, Chicago Airport Authority; and a number of others.

As a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, Perry will provide recommendations and expertise on all matters related to the travel industry, including air transportation, airport security, Homeland Security, visa issues and State Department matters, congressional issues and legislative matters, international marketing, business travel, conventions and meetings and national travel industry advocacy, national regulatory and tax matters among many others.

For more information on the Executive Order: Click Here

The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nationally accredited, 1,000-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. We help create $5 billion in new capital each year- more than any other business sector- by attracting millions of visitors, special events and conventions. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and four foreign countries. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. For more information, please visit

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