Today, Secretary Raimondo met with the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) to discuss how to accelerate the recovery and growth of the travel and tourism industry. The Secretary was joined by White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients, who provided an update on the Administration’s plan to drive additional vaccination progress this fall and accelerate our path out of the pandemic.
The Administration is taking swift action consistent with TTAB’s previous recommendations and the strategic goals of the U.S. government, including the allocation of $750 million of EDA’s American Rescue Plan funds to support travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation. Utilizing public, private, and international channels, the Department of Commerce is bringing back jobs; developing a new, public health-focused system for travel; and revitalizing the economy. Among the Secretary’s updates, she highlighted the Department’s efforts to expedite safe resumption of cruise services, bringing vital economic recovery to hard-hit communities.
The Secretary also highlighted actions to support international students applying for visas this fall semester, which is critical to American jobs, enhances diversity, and contributes $39 billion to the U.S. economy annually. The Secretary charged TTAB with developing additional recommendations to inform a new National Travel and Tourism Strategy, including new visitors arriving to the U.S. and industry spending goals. She also emphasized the importance of employers requiring proof of vaccination for employees and encouraged the industry to think creatively about how to incentivize customers to get vaccinated in order to further accelerate the sector’s recovery.
A copy of the Secretary’s remarks as prepared for delivery can be found here.