On Thursday, May 10, 2012, The United States Government released its first ever official travel and tourism strategy.
Roger Dow, president and CEO of the US Travel Association, had this to say:
“Today, the Obama Administration announced its National Travel and Tourism Strategy. This important step officially elevates the travel industry to what it should be: a national priority. It also recognizes the industry for its fundamental contribution to our economy, national security and public diplomacy.
“The National Strategy sets a goal of increasing U.S. jobs by attracting and welcoming 100 million international visitors annually by the end of 2021. This is no small effort, but the opportunity for economic growth and new jobs is too great. The travel industry stands ready to work with the Administration in achieving this goal.
“I commend Secretaries Bryson and Salazar for their leadership in preparing the National Strategy. This effort required extensive government-wide coordination and broad outreach to the private sector in a short amount of time.
“America has always been a nation of travelers, and there’s nothing we love more than showing off our beautiful country to people from around the globe. As we move out of the recession, the wheels of the travel industry have not stopped turning. Since the job recovery began, our industry has created more than 250,000 new jobs – nearly 50,000 this year alone – which far outpaces gains in the rest of the economy or by other industries. In total, travel supports more than 14.4 million American jobs and contributes $1.9 trillion to our economy. As our nation works to close our trade deficit, travel exports have been booming. Travel exports totaled a record $152 billion in 2011, and the travel industry is now the number one contributor to our balance of trade.
“Today’s announcement couldn’t come at a better time. This week marks the 29th annual National Travel and Tourism Week – a week when local communities across the country are coming together in support of the travel industry and the millions of hardworking men and women it employs. As the National Strategy is implemented and the U.S. sees an increase in the amount of international visitors, those local communities will experience more jobs, economic growth and additional revenue.”
Obviously, here at LanguageCorps, we spend most of our time focused on Teaching English Abroad. So it’s interesting to contemplate what this strategy means for an industry like ours! With the Obama administration looking to increase national tourism numbers to 100 million visitors annually, it is likely that we will see an increase in the demand for English teachers abroad even further. Many people contemplating a visit to the US will be interested in acquiring (even very basic) english skills, and we look forward to continuing to service that demand with some of the most highly qualified, motivated ESL teachers in the industry!
Regardless the effect on the TEFL industry though, it is nice to see the Obama administration inserting travel into the forefront of the United States effort to refuel it’s economy. Here at LanguageCorps we believe that travel is one of the most effective ways to increase your overall enjoyment of life, and so whether it’s in the US or abroad, it’s great to see travel getting the recognition it deserves!