[Guest post by DRJ]
The Senate is scheduled to begin consideration today of Senate Bill 1023, the Travel Promotion Act of 2009:
“On May 12, 2009, Senator Dorgan introduced S. 1023, the Travel Promotion Act of 2009. The bill would establish a non-profit corporation to better communicate U.S. entry policies to international travelers and promote leisure, business, and scholarly travel to the United States. The legislation would also create an Office of Travel Promotion within the Department of Commerce to coordinate with the corporation. The legislation was reported favorably out of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation with a written report and placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar on June 5. The Senate is expected to begin consideration of this legislation on June 16. “
The committee report notes that overseas travel into the U.S. has declined and this legislation is aimed at restoring international visitors. How will this be funded? The government will pay two-thirds and there will be agreed assessments on the travel industry. In addition, the proposed legislation “requires the Department of Homeland Security to collect a $10 ESTA fee from foreign travelers.”
Heh. Want more international travelers? Charge ’em.