Tourism Development Gets Boost in Washington

Among the many parts of the recent omnibus spending bill passed by Congress in December was an important piece of the puzzle for tourism development, both nationally and in Volusia County.

The Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act establishes the post of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism to support and enhance domestic travel and tourism, as well as create goals for attracting international visitors.

That is welcome news for Volusia County tourist development efforts.

“I believe that focusing positive attention on the value and impact of tourism to our country, as well as to our local and state communities, helps everyone to understand how critical tourism is to helping our communities thrive,” said Lori Campbell Baker, executive director at the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Campbell Baker said with the strong relationship the area already has with state agencies focused on tourism, federal assistance will be even more valuable.

“We currently have a strong partnership with the state’s tourism marketing arm, Visit Florida, and we look forward to seeing what new opportunities we’ll have in the future via this newly-created post,” she said.

The new legislation also establishes the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board to assist the Commerce Department with travel and tourism-industry related matters, and requires the Commerce Department, along with representatives of the advisory board, the Tourism Policy Council and the Department of Homeland Security to develop a 10-year travel and tourism strategy for Congress.

The bill also earmarks $4 million to study the impact of Covid-19 on the travel and tourism industry and $1 million to fund the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

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