Recognizing Disney’s leadership within the travel and tourism industry, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke appointed Al Weiss, president of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, to serve on the Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP) Board of Directors. Weiss, based in Orlando, Fla., joins 10 other travel and tourism industry leaders on the board of the CTP, a new non-profit corporation that will promote travel to the United States abroad and improve the entry process for international visitors to the U.S.
“We are extremely pleased to join with this diverse group of talented travel and tourism industry leaders as we work together to strengthen this important sector of the U.S. economy,” Locke said. “President Obama recognizes the critical role that attracting international visitors to the United States plays in creating jobs and growing our economy.”
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the travel and tourism industry represents $1.3 trillion of the U.S. economy, supports 8.2 million jobs and accounts for 8 percent of all U.S. exports. One out of every 16 Americans works, either directly or indirectly, in a travel and tourism-related industry.
Many other nations operate ministries of tourism that actively market their countries as tourist destinations around the world. The CTP, a public-private partnership, will help get America into the game and encourage people across the globe to travel to the U.S.
“I’m honored to be appointed to the Board of Directors for the Corporation for Travel Promotion and look forward to serving along with industry leaders I greatly admire and respect as we bring the U.S. onto the global stage to compete for international visitors,” said Al Weiss, president of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
The CTP Board of Directors represents various regions of the United States and each member has expertise and experience in specific sectors of the travel and tourism industry. In addition to Weiss, they include:
- Caroline Beteta, President and CEO, California Travel & Tourism Commission, Sacramento, Calif.
- Stephen Cloobeck, Chairman and CEO, Diamond Resorts International, Las Vegas, Nev.
- George Fertitta, CEO, NYC & Company, New York, N.Y.
- Daniel Halpern, President and CEO, Jackmont Hospitality, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.
- Tom Klein, President, Sabre Holdings, Southlake, Texas
- David Lim, Chief Marketing Officer, Amtrak, Washington, D.C.
- Mark Schwab, Senior Vice President-Alliances, International and Regulatory Affairs, United Airlines, Chicago, Ill.
- Diane Shober, Tourism Director, State of Wyoming, Cheyenne, Wyo.
- Roy Yamaguchi, Owner and Founder, Roy’s Restaurant, Newport Beach, Calif.
- Lynda S. Zengerle, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Washington, D.C.
The CTP was created by the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 and aims to increase international travel to U.S. and, thereby, maximize the economic benefits of travel and jobs created for the U.S. As part of its efforts to promote America as a travel destination, the CTP will work to benefit all 50 states, including areas not traditionally visited by international travelers.