Travel Groups, ASAE Urge Congress to Fund Travel Survey
Citing jobs and other economic benefits, industry groups are asking lawmakers to provide funding for a survey that captures critical data about international travelers who visit the United States.
ASAE joined the U.S. Travel Association and other industry groups last week in asking congressional appropriators to restore funding in fiscal year 2013 for the Commerce Department’s Survey of International Air Travelers (SIAT).
The SIAT, which has been conducted monthly since 1983, collects statistical data from international travelers regarding their demographic origins and travel activities within the United States. Cities and states across the country rely heavily on the survey to make decisions about how to best promote their destinations to foreign visitors.
The letter, drafted by USTA, was co-signed by ASAE, the National Tourism & Heritage Association, Airports Council International North America, National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, National Restaurant Association, Professional Association of Innkeepers International, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, American Society of Travel Agents, National Tour Association Marketing Council, U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism, United Motorcoach Association, and the Passenger Vessel Association.
The letter warns that failing to fund the SIAT would undermine job growth and economic gains generated by the travel and tourism industry.
“We appreciate that our country is facing difficult fiscal challenges, but the government must continue to invest in the nation’s economic growth,” the groups said in the letter. “As the last couple years have demonstrated, supporting the travel and tourism industry is one of the most immediate and meaningful measures government can take to spur job creation. In fact, the industry is on track to add 98,000 American jobs by the end of 2013, but we must have the SIAT data to support travel promotion efforts.”