Washington, DC – To create jobs in New York and across the country and strengthen the American tourism industry, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today joined with Senators Mark Begich, Mark Pryor, and Amy Klobuchar to introduce the Travel Regional Investment Partnership (TRIP) Act. The TRIP Act would promote domestic tourism by partnering public and private dollars through a competitive matching grant program within the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“New York is chock full of first-rate tourist destinations that attract visitors, and their tourism dollars, each and every year,” Senator Schumer said. “This sector of our economy is a proven job creator, and the TRIP Act would help us build on that success. The TRIP Act would help New York museums, parks, and a host of other tourist destinations make critical investments in their infrastructure, helping them grow for years to come.”
“From world class vineyards in the Finger Lakes to Niagara Falls to the beautiful Adirondacks and all the attractions of New York City, there is absolutely no place better to vacation than New York,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Visitors add billions of dollars to our state’s economy each year and support thousands of jobs right here at home. Many New Yorkers get their very first job in the tourism industry. As we rebuild our economy, this critical legislation would help promote New York’s tourism and ensure long term growth. I have long advocated for this type of federal initiative into tourism promotion because I believe it would bring tremendous economic opportunity to the families of our state.”
Tourism is a critical industry in New York State. According to the U.S. Travel Association, domestic and international travelers to New York spent $51.3 billion in 2007 and generated $9.9 billion to federal, state and local governments. According to Tourism Economics, the tourism sector supported more than 660,000 jobs in New York last year. The recent economic downturn has taken a toll on the travel and tourism industry nationwide. Tourism supports over seven million domestic jobs and accounts for 2.8 percent of the United States’ gross domestic product.
The TRIP Act would allow local tourism promotion organizations, such as convention and visitors’ bureaus, to partner with other regional tourism entities, such as parks or resorts, to receive federal funding to market their destination across the United States. Funding would come in the form of matching grants totaling between $100,000 and $1 million. The grants would leverage millions more from the private sector and attract billions in economic activity and consumer spending. The TRIP Act would present New York organizations and localities the opportunity to compete for more resources and leverage public-private partnerships to attract visitors.
The TRIP Act could encourage people across the country to visit New York, and would complement the Travel Promotion Act which passed last Congress and aims to encourage tourism from overseas.