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National Tourism Conference Today

Independence Hall

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis today host a town hall meeting at Independence Hall to discuss how to boost travel and tourism as a means to strengthen local economies and create jobs. In January, President Obama directed his administration to create a new national tourism strategy focused on creating jobs by becoming even more welcoming to guests from here at home and from all over the globe. As part of this initiative, Secretary Salazar and Secretary of Commerce John Bryson are working to develop recommendations for a National Travel and Tourism Strategy to promote domestic and international travel opportunities throughout the United States with a particular focus on strategies for increasing tourism by promoting visits to our national treasures.  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, more than 400 million visits were made in 2010 by American and international travelers to our national parks, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites, monuments and other public lands, contributing nearly $50 billion in economic activity and 400,000 jobs. Eco-tourism and outdoor recreation also have an outsize impact on rural economies, particularly in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

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