U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Reappoints Carol Wallace to the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board

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San Diego leader elected to second two-year term

San Diego, CA (March 26, 2014) — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the appointment of 32 members to the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (Board) this week. Among them is local San Diego leader Carol Wallace, President and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation. This is the second two-year term for Ms. Wallace who was elected to the Board for her areas of focus: the use of tourism as an economic development tool, advocacy and outreach, and job creation and training to promote national tourism.

Ms. Wallace, well-known throughout the national and international convention and meeting industry, has led the San Diego Convention Center Corporation since 1991. Since then, the 2.6 million-square foot facility has become one of the top rated facilities in the world and one of San Diego’s strongest assets, generating $1.3 billion in economic impact last year and supporting 12,500 jobs region wide.

“Under Carol’s leadership over the past 20 years, the San Diego Convention Center has become one of the region’s strongest economic engines, supporting thousands of jobs countywide,” said Nico Ferraro, Chair of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation Board of Directors. “She is recognized throughout the industry and in San Diego as a passionate leader advancing the interests of the convention industry in the San Diego, the U.S., and internationally.”

The Board, established in 2003, serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States. Its members represent a broad cross-section of the industry, including transportation services, financial services, and hotels and restaurants, as well as a mix of other small and large firms from across the country.

“The Commerce Department is committed to expanding U.S. exports in the travel and tourism sector, which supports millions of jobs and is a major contributor to our economic recovery,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The Travel and Tourism Advisory Board is a critical public-private partnership that helps drive growth in the travel and tourism industry. I look forward to working with the new Board members to continue our efforts of making America a more attractive and accessible destination.”

The Board provides advice that helps the government prioritize the travel and tourism policies that will contribute to growth, including enhanced visa issuance and travel facilitation, increased investment in transportation infrastructure, and research for decision-making. Government agencies that are part of the Tourism Policy Council, including the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, and others, have considered the Board’s advice as they have worked to make progress on these issues. The Board also provided input into the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, and its continued efforts will play an important role in reaching the Strategy’s goal of attracting 100 million international visitors to the United States by 2021.

Last month, the Commerce Department released new data showing that spending by international visitors in 2013 totaled more than $180.7 billion, up nearly $1.3 billion per month from 2012. The travel and tourism industry now accounts for 26 percent of all American services exports, and nearly eight percent of overall exports.

A complete list of all 32 Board members can be found at http://www.trade.gov/ttab/