Editor’s Note: The following letter appeared in a current e-mail from the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) to its constituency, urging support for passage of the U.S. Travel Promotion Act.

The U.S. Travel Association has reported that the travel community is on the cusp of final passage of the Travel Promotion Act, the landmark legislation which will for the first time create a public-private partnership to promote travel to the United States. After months of focus on other issues, including health care reform and jobs stimulus legislation, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated that final consideration of this important bill is imminent. President Obama also touted the value of the legislation during his comments in Las Vegas this past Friday.

We urge you to please start reaching out to your senators today to ensure that when the bill is brought to the floor they are ready to support it. Speak to them about the immediate need to pass this bill in order to help our economy by attracting new spending, creating new jobs and reducing our national deficit, all at no cost to American taxpayers.

In order to help you make the case, we worked in conjunction with Oxford Economics to develop a new analysis of overseas travel to the United States titled “The Lost Decade,” which shows the failure of the United States to simply keep pace with the growth in international long-haul travel worldwide and how much it has cost our economy:

  • 68.3 million lost visitors, each of whom on average spend well over $4,000.
  • $509 billion in lost spending, including $214 billion in direct spending and $295 billion in downstream spending at restaurants, retailers, and scores of other small businesses.
  • 441,000 lost jobs, direct, indirect and induced,in all regions of the country.
  • $32 billion in lost tax revenue at the federal, state and local levels.
  • $270 billion in lost trade surplus, export funding needed to rebuild our economy.

As you know, the senate passed the Travel Promotion Act in September (S.1023) with a strong bipartisan vote of 79-19. The Travel Promotion Act was then unanimously approved by the House of Representatives in November as part of H.R.1299. Because the legislation creates “revenue” for the federal government, the Constitution requires that the Travel Promotion Act originate in the House. Therefore, the Senate must now take a final vote on H.R.1299.

It’s important that every senator who supported the legislation in September hear again from members of the travel community thanking them for their original vote of support and urging their continued support in the coming weeks for final passage of the legislation.

Your relentless grassroots advocacy for more than two years has moved the United States one giant step closer to its first multi-million dollar, nationally coordinated travel promotion program. Let’s get the job done in the Senate with final passage.

Call or e-mail your senator today and let him/her know that you value their support for the Travel Promotion Act.