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Posted September 12, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Measure could help area tourism

WASHINGTON — The Senate has approved a measure that could spark more international travel to area battlefields, parks and other destinations.

The Travel Promotion Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., is aimed at reversing a recent decline in overseas travel to the U.S. The initiative authorizes the Department of Commerce to establish the position of undersecretary of travel promotion and creates an Office of Travel Promotion as well as a nonprofit Corporation for Travel Promotion to run the campaign.

In a press release, Webb says the public-private partnership will produce an estimated $4 billion in economic benefits to Virginia’s local economies at no cost to the taxpayer. The program would be funded equally by a small fee paid by foreign travelers visiting the U.S. and matching contributions from the travel industry.

“By encouraging international tourists to visit Virginia, the Travel Promotion Act will provide jobs to our residents and invigorate local economies,” he says.

Virginia Tourism Corp. President and CEO Alisa Bailey says the act will “strengthen our ability to compete for visitors in the global marketplace and broaden our appeal to international travelers.”

— Daily Staff Report

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