Guest blog post by Dr. Rebecca Blank, Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of CommerceThis morning, I joined economic development leaders from around the country to discuss ongoing efforts to create jobs and grow the U.S. economy. The Economic Development Forum was hosted by the U.S. Commerce Department’s SelectUSA initiative, in partnership with the White House Business Council and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the world’s largest professional organization of economic development practitioners.The forum provided an opportunity to discuss the Obama administration’s efforts to support U.S. businesses and encourage companies to bring good jobs back to America, a trend called insourcing.Both American and international firms are increasingly looking for opportunities to invest in the U.S. And businesses are not only choosing to bring jobs back, but they are also making decisions to expand here instead of shipping jobs overseas. These investments mean that more products will be made in America. That means more jobs and greater economic security for families across this nation.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, you hear of a lot of vague platitudes about job creation, inequality and economic growth. Some of the ideas you hear being floated are impossibly ambitious, like Al Gore's $90 trillion scheme to redesign every city on the planet.
Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank joined business leaders from
across the country earlier this week at the White House Business Council American
Economic Competitiveness Forum on Travel and Tourism to discuss the administration’s actions to help grow travel and tourism and support the
millions of jobs associated with the industry. Travel and tourism is a bright spot for the American economy, leading
the recovery with growth that has outpaced the growth of the overall economy by
almost 800 percent and on pace for another year of record high international
visitors to the U.S.
Since even before the passage of the Travel Promotion Act in
2010, the Administration has been focused on the importance of travel and
tourism. The President recognized the
importance of developing the travel and tourism industry and issued an Executive Order last
January that created a new inter-agency Task Force co-chaired by the
Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior and charged them with developing a
National Travel and Tourism Strategy to increase both domestic and
international travel throughout the United States, with the goal of increasing
the United States’ market share of worldwide travel. The Task Force included
representatives from every agency and department whose mission intersects with
the travel and tourism industry. The Task Force released the National Strategy
in May with an ambitious goal of attracting 100 million international visitors
($250 billion in spending) to the U.S. annually by 2021 -- a 60% increase above
the 62 million international visitors in 2011.
The National Travel and Tourism Strategy laid out a
blueprint for reaching that goal by focusing on five areas:
Promoting the United States Enabling and enhancing travel and tourism to and within the United States Providing world-class customer service and visitor experiences Coordinating across government Conducting research and measuring results