President Obama Signs
Travel Promotion Act Into Law
Enactment of historic travel legislation will boost inbound travel to Florida and stimulate local economy
St. Augustine, Fla. (March 9, 2010) - World Golf Hall of Fame and World Golf Village welcomed news last week that President Obama has signed the Travel Promotion Act into law. The new legislation will create economic growth and thousands of new American jobs by welcoming millions more international travelers to the United States.
“The United States is equipping itself to compete in the international travel market as so many other countries are successfully doing today by promoting our diverse destinations and travel policies abroad, all under a collective national brand,” said Jack Peter, COO of World Golf Hall of Fame and president of World Golf Village Associates, Inc. “The World Golf Hall of Fame is an international destination with messaging that resonates through the annual Induction Ceremony. We strongly support travel promotion legislation enacted in Washington, like this, which stands to benefit every state across America, including travel-dependent workers in our area of Northeast Florida.”
"If there is any one segment that Northeast Florida specializes in that also grabs the attention of the international traveler, it would be golf,” said David Reese, president of Florida’s First Coast of Golf, Inc., a company that showcases Northeast Florida as a golf destination. “With THE PLAYERS Championship and the World Golf Hall of Fame, we have two iconic properties and many great golf options that distinguish our area."
“This is a historic victory for the U.S. economy and the one in eight American workers whose jobs depend on travel,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “The United States Congress has sent a clear message that travel is a high priority to our nation and that tangible steps must be taken to increase travel to and within the United States. We are extremely grateful to President Obama and to the bill’s champions: Senators Reid, Dorgan, Ensign and Klobuchar in the Senate and Representatives Delahunt, Blunt and Farr in the House.”
The Travel Promotion Act establishes a public-private partnership to promote the United States as a premier international travel destination and communicate U.S. security and entry policies. According to analysis by Oxford Economics, the bill is estimated to drive $4 billion in new consumer spending annually, provide $321 million in new federal tax revenue each year and create 40,000 U.S. jobs nationwide. Further, it is expected to reduce the federal budget deficit by $425 million over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Overseas visitors spend an average of more than $4,000 when they visit the United States.
The Travel Promotion Act is modeled after successful state-level initiatives and is funded through a matching program featuring up to $100 million in private sector contributions and a $10 fee on foreign travelers who do not pay $131 for a visa to enter the United States. The fee is collected once every two years in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization. No money is provided by U.S. taxpayers.
# # #
About World Golf Hall of Fame
The World Golf Hall of Fame honors the history of the game by preserving the legacies of the world’s greatest players and contributors. In the museum located at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., the Hall of Fame serves as a steward of the game through elaborate storytelling and exhibits featuring artifacts, works of art and photography significant to the history of golf and its members.
A World Golf Foundation initiative, the Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 nonprofit institution and is associated with 26 national and international golf organizations, including The European Tour, LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A and USGA. To learn more about the Hall of Fame or to lend support, visit www.worldgolfhalloffame.org.
About World Golf Village
World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. is home to the World Golf Hall of Fame and encompasses the flagship Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village and adjoining St. Johns County Convention Center; Grande Villas at World Golf Village, a Bluegreen Vacation Club resort; Laterra Resort; two championship golf courses, Slammer & Squire and King & Bear; and the PGA TOUR Golf Academy. Complementing these attractions is the PGA TOUR STOP retail center, several restaurants (including Murray Bros. Caddyshack), a 300-seat IMAX® theater and a variety of residential neighborhoods. For more information about World Golf Village, visit www.worldgolfvillage.com.
About U.S. Travel Association
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $770 billion travel industry. U.S. Travel’s mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States. For more information, visit www.ustravel.org.