Travel Executive Says Travel Is The Front Door To Economic Development


By Paula C. Squires

Lots of people stopped by the state's Virginia is For Lovers exhibit at the tourism summit. Photo by Paula Squires

The U.S. travel industry is the country’s front door to economic development. More needs to be done to promote it and to encourage Americans to take their paid time off.

Those were the key themes shared by Roger Dow, the president and CEO of the U. S. Travel Association, to an industry crowd Monday at the VA1 Tourism Summit in Norfolk. The annual conference drew about 500 people from travel and related industries who are gathering for three days at Norfolk’s newest downtown hotel and conference center, Hilton Norfolk the Main.

The second day of the conference opened with music, pageantry, and a salute to the port city’s 100th-year anniversary as the world’s largest naval base. Dow gave the keynote luncheon speech, noting that the travel industry provides 15 million American jobs and has a $2.1 trillion dollar impact on the nation’s economy.


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