White House Jobs Summit

Yesterday the Obama administration hosted a jobs summit of economists and business leaders to seek ideas and offer solutions to the unemployment rate. As a result, six main ideas were recommended, from increasing exports to boosting credit options for small firms.

In advance of the summit, the US Travel Association (USTA) sent recommendations to President Obama and Congressional leaders on how tourism could be a vehicle for creating and sustaining jobs.

The letters commended leaders for their commitment in enacting policies to spur job creation in the United States, noting that nearly 400,000 combined U.S. travel industry jobs were lost in 2008 and 2009. The projected addition of nearly 90,000 American travel jobs in 2010, due to modest increases in travel volume and spending, demonstrate the industry’s unique ability to quickly create employment opportunities.

Seven immediate and medium-term proposals crucial to job creation were outlined in the USTA’s  letter to the president and Congress, including:

– Travel tax deduction for business travel with a spouse;

– Business meal tax deduction;

– Implementation of the Travel Promotion Act to encourage millions of travelers to visit the United States;

– Targeted hiring of new consular officers for key inbound markets with unmet demand;

– Increased investment in the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009;

– Funding for a “NextGen” air traffic control system that will limit flight delays, cancellations and negative impact on the environment

– Airport construction funding for U.S. ports of entry.

We are hopeful that the administration and Congress will embrace these ideas to help advance our economy and create jobs.

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