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Coinciding with Presidential Visit, Secretary Bryson Welcomes New Travel and Tourism Advisory Board Members

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Following Presidential Announcement of National Travel and Tourism Strategy Bryson to Swear in 32 Newly Appointed Members  

U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson will conduct a swearing-in ceremony today and meet with the 32 newly appointed members of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB). Bryson’s discussion with the Board will follow the President’s announcement of a National Travel & Tourism Strategy and corresponding Executive Order from the President. The Board, first created in 2003 by then Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, provides stakeholder feedback on the challenges being faced by the U.S. travel and tourism industry, as well as ideas for what the federal government can do to help strengthen this important sector.

“This Board represents the eyes and ears of our nation’s travel and tourism industry and I am committed to working with each of the esteemed members to bring more visitors to the United States,” Bryson said. “I look forward to putting ideas into action, and to helping bolster job creation in this critical economic sector, which already supports more than 7.5 million jobs throughout the country.”

Travel and tourism is a $1.2 trillion sector of the U.S. economy or nearly three percent of Gross Domestic Product. Critical to the nation’s overall economic health, the travel and tourism industry is one of the top employers for more than half of the U.S. states and territories. The U.S. travel and tourism industry is on pace for a record-setting year. Through November 2011, international visitors spent an estimated $139.4 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date, an increase of 13 percent compared to the same period in 2010. The United States recorded a $38.4 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism through November 2011. 

The previous Board delivered significant policy recommendations regarding travel facilitation, travel promotion, and data and research, some of which played a role in today’s Executive Order announcement. For example, the previous Board made important recommendations regarding visa facilitation, which have been incorporated into the President’s strategy.  

The Board consists of up to 32 members that advise the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs that affect the U.S. travel and tourism industry, offers counsel on current and emerging issues, and provides a forum for discussing and proposing solutions to industry-related problems. Members represent companies and organizations in the travel and tourism industry from a broad range of products and services, company sizes and geographic locations. More than half of the newly appointed members are serving for the first time as advisors on the Board.

Board members are listed below (note: new members of the Board are indicated with a *).  

The full list of Board members is available on the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board website

2012-2014 U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board

Chair, Todd Davidson, Chief Executive Officer, Travel Oregon, OR

Vice-Chair, Sam Gilliland, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sabre Holdings, TX

Holly Agra, President, Chicago’s First Lady Cruises, IL

Rosemarie Andolino, Commissioner, Chicago Airport Authority, IL*

Maureen Bausch, Executive Vice President of Business Development, Mall of America, MN*

Linda Carlisle, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, NC*

Maryann Ferenc, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mise en Place,   Inc., FL

Elliott Ferguson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Destination DC, DC*

Michael Gibbons, President, Mainstreet Ventures, MI*

Mario Gonzalez-Lafuente, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, PR*

Robin Hayes, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, JetBlue Airways, NY*

Kirk Hoessle, President, Alaska Wildland Adventures, AK*

Hubert Joly, President and Chief Executive Officer, Carlson Companies, MN

Robert Katz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vail Resorts, CO*

Holly Arnold Kinney, Executive Director, The Fort, LLC, CO*

Robert Lynch, President, Americans for the Arts, DC*

Laura Mandala, Managing Director, Mandala Research, LLC, VA*

Kathleen Matthews, Executive Vice President, Marriott International, Inc., MD*

Doug Parker, Chief Executive Officer, US Airways, AZ*

Chandrakant “C.K.” Patel, President, BVM Holdings, Inc., GA

J. Stephen Perry, President and Chief Executive Officer, New Orleans Convention 

and Visitors Bureau, LA

Rossi Ralenkotter, President and Chief Executive Officer, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, NV 

Olga Ramudo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Express Travel of Miami, Inc., FL*

Adam Sacks, Managing Director, Tourism Economics, PA

Joseph W. Saunders, Chairman and CEO, Visa, Inc., CA

Ronald Solimon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Indian Pueblo Cultural 

Center, Inc. and Indian Pueblos Marketing, Inc., NM

John Sprouls, Chief Executive Officer, Universal Orlando Resort and Executive Vice President, Universal Parks and Resorts, FL

Greg Stubblefield, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Enterprise Holdings, MO

Christopher Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Visit Florida, FL*

Steven Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, Johns Hopkins Medicine International, MD*

Carol Wallace, President and Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Convention Center Corporation, CA*

Jonathan Zuk, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President, Amadeo Travel Solutions, NJ *


Ex Officio Members

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State

The Honorable Ken Salazar, Secretary of Interior

The Honorable Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation

The Honorable Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security