What is this travel promotion legislation?

A new survey of travel management professionals reveals that more than 60 percent aren’t aware of legislation recently passed by Congress that would create a public-private partnership aimed at promoting the United States as a top international travel destination.

An additional 29 percent of respondents were unaware of the act’s details, according to the survey from AirPlus International.

The Travel Promotion Act of 2009 would be funded through “private sector contributions” and $10 “user fees” paid by international visitors. The bill does not rely on American taxpayer dollars and would result in a $400 million Travel Promotion Fund, its sponsors say.

The survey also revealed 53 percent weren’t sure how the money would be used and 73 percent said any fees “would be reciprocated for U.S. travelers into other countries.”

“This Act will certainly have an impact on the travel industry overall, not just business travel,” Richard Crum, president of AirPlus International Inc., said in a news release. “We polled our industry colleagues to learn how they felt on the topic. Clearly, the results indicate that there is not enough awareness of the Act.”

Opponents say the legislation could actually hurt tourism because of the increased costs to visit the country.

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