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U.S. Tourism Industry Needs New Strategy

Maybe someone from the barter industry should contact Jay Rasulo, the national chairman of the Travel Industry Association, and suggest he put on his barter cap to get more of the global tourism market!

Jay Rasulo, chairman of Disney parks and resorts, has warned travel industry executives that the United States is in trouble as a competitor in the global tourism market. Hence the group must adopt new strategies in 2006, or continue to lose its share of international visitors.

Rasulo contends there is a revolution going on in the global tourism market. ďThe way people travel, where they travel, how they travel...itís all changing.Ē

The U.S. market share of international travel has dropped since 1992 to an all-time low. With a six percent share, it ranks third in the world behind France and Spain in attracting international visitors, the World Tourism organization reports. (Editorís note: Many pundits claim China will lead the world in attracting international visitors by 2020.)

What can be done to turn the situation around? According to Rasulo we must take action on three fronts:

1.   Develop a destination marketing campaign that makes the United States a top choice for travelers, funded by industry and government.

2.   Reduce barriers to travel, such as overly complex visa and passport requirements.                                            

3.   Give the travel industry a voice at the highest level of governments to ensure jobs and bolster the nationís image.

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