S.1023 - Travel Promotion Act of 2009
A bill to establish a non-profit corporation to communicate United States entry policies and otherwise promote leisure, business, and scholarly travel to the United States.
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SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.
SEC. 2. THE CORPORATION FOR TRAVEL PROMOTION.
(a) ESTABLISHMENTstablishment- The Corporation for Travel Promotion is established as a nonprofit corporation. The Corporation shall not be an agency or establishment of the United States Government. The Corporation shall be subject to the provisions of the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act (D.C. Code, section 29-1001 et seq.), to the extent that such provisions are consistent with this section, and shall have the powers conferred upon a nonprofit corporation by that Act to carry out its purposes and activities.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- The Corporation shall have a board of directors of 11 members with knowledge of international travel promotion and marketing, broadly representing various regions of the United States, who are United States citizens. Members of the board shall be appointed by the Secretary of Commerce (after consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State), as follows:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) INCORPORATION- The members of the initial board of directors shall serve as incorporators and shall take whatever actions are necessary to establish the Corporation under the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act (D.C. Code, section [Struck out->]
29-1001[<-Struck out] 29-301.01 et seq.).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) VACANCIES- Any vacancy in the board shall not affect its power, but shall be filled in the manner required by this section. Any member whose term has expired may serve until the member’s successor has taken office, or until the end of the calendar year in which the member’s term has expired, whichever is earlier. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which that member’s predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of the predecessor’s term. No member of the board shall be eligible to serve more than 2 consecutive full 3-year terms.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN- Members of the board shall annually elect one of the members to be Chairman and elect 1 or 2 of the members as Vice Chairman or Vice Chairmen.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(7) STATUS AS FEDERAL EMPLOYEES- Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no member of the board may be considered to be a Federal employee of the United States by virtue of his or her service as a member of the board.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(8) COMPENSATION; EXPENSES- No member shall receive any compensation from the Federal government for serving on the Board. Each member of the Board shall be paid actual travel expenses and per diem in lieu of subsistence expenses when away from his or her usual place of residence, in accordance with
(1) IN GENERAL- The Corporation shall have [Struck out->]
a President,[<-Struck out] an executive director and such other officers as may be named and appointed by the board for terms and at rates of compensation fixed by the board. No individual other than a citizen of the United States may be an officer of the Corporation. The Corporation may hire and fix the compensation of such employees as may be necessary to carry out its purposes. No officer or employee of the Corporation may receive any salary or other compensation (except for compensation for services on boards of directors of other organizations that do not receive funds from the Corporation, on committees of such boards, and in similar activities for such organizations) from any sources other than the Corporation for services rendered during the period of his or her employment by the Corporation. Service by any officer on boards of directors of other organizations, on committees of such boards, and in similar activities for such organizations shall be subject to annual advance approval by the board and subject to the provisions of the Corporation’s Statement of Ethical Conduct. All officers and employees shall serve at the pleasure of the board.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) NONPOLITICAL NATURE OF APPOINTMENT- No political test or qualification shall be used in selecting, appointing, promoting, or taking other personnel actions with respect to officers, agents, or employees of the Corporation.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) PROFIT- No part of the income or assets of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of any director, officer, employee, or any other individual except as salary or reasonable compensation for services.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING LOBBYING ACTIVITIES- It is the sense of Congress that the Corporation should not engage in lobbying activities (as defined in section 3(7) of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (
(A) to provide useful information to foreign tourists, business people, students, scholars, scientists, and others interested in travelling to the United States, including the distribution of material provided by the Federal government concerning entry requirements, required documentation, fees, processes, and information concerning declared public health emergencies, to prospective travelers, travel agents, tour operators, meeting planners, foreign governments, travel media and other international stakeholders;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(C) to maximize the economic and diplomatic benefits of travel to the United States by promoting the United States of America to world travelers through the use of, but not limited to, all forms of advertising, outreach to trade shows, and other appropriate promotional activities;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(D) to ensure that international travel benefits all States and the District of Columbia and to identify opportunities and strategies to promote tourism to rural and urban areas equally, including areas not traditionally visited by international travelers; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(f) OPEN MEETINGSpen Meetings- Meetings of the board of directors of the Corporation, including any committee of the board, shall be open to the public. The board may, by majority vote, close any such meeting only for the time necessary to preserve the confidentiality of commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential, to discuss personnel matters, or to discuss legal matters affecting the Corporation, including pending or potential litigation.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(g) MAJOR CAMPAIGNSajor Campaigns- The board may not authorize the Corporation to obligate or expend more than $25,000,000 on any advertising campaign, promotion, or related effort unless--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) each member of the board has been given at least 3 days advance notice of the meeting at which the vote is to be taken and the matters to be voted upon at that meeting.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) ANNUAL AUDITS- The Corporation shall engage an independent accounting firm to conduct an annual financial audit of the Corporation’s operations and shall publish the results of the audit. The Comptroller General of the United States may review any audit of a financial statement conducted under this subsection by an independent accounting firm and may audit the Corporation’s operations at the discretion of the Comptroller General. The Comptroller General and the Congress shall have full and complete access to the books and records of the Corporation.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) PROGRAM AUDITS- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall conduct a review of the programmatic activities of the Corporation for Travel Promotion. This report shall be provided to appropriate congressional committees.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES.
(a) OBJECTIVESbjectives- The Board shall establish annual objectives for the Corporation for each fiscal year subject to approval by the Secretary of Commerce (after consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State). The Corporation shall establish a marketing plan for each fiscal year not less than 60 days before the beginning of that year and provide a copy of the plan, and any revisions thereof, to the Secretary.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) BUDGETudget- The board shall transmit a copy of the Corporation’s budget for the forthcoming fiscal year to the Secretary not less than 60 days before the beginning of each fiscal year, together with an explanation of any expenditure provided for by the budget in excess of $5,000,000 for the fiscal year. The Corporation shall make a copy of the budget and the explanation available to the public and shall provide public access to the budget and explanation on the Corporation’s website.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESSnnual Report to Congress- The Corporation shall submit an annual report for the preceding fiscal year to the Secretary of Commerce for transmittal to the Congress on or before the 15th day of May of each year. The report shall include--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) a detailed description of each in-kind contribution, its fair market value, the individual or organization responsible for contributing, its specific use, and a justification for its use within the context of the Corporation’s mission;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) an explanation of the reason for any failure to achieve an objective established by the board and any revisions or alterations to the Corporation’s objectives under subsection (a);CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(d) LIMITATION ON USE OF FUNDSimitation on Use of Funds- Amounts deposited in the Fund may not be used for any purpose inconsistent with carrying out the objectives, budget, and report described in this section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 4. MATCHING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FUNDING.
(a) ESTABLISHMENT OF TRAVEL PROMOTION FUNDstablishment of Travel Promotion Fund- There is hereby established in the Treasury a fund which shall be known as the Travel Promotion Fund.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
[Struck out->] [Struck out->] [Struck out->] [Struck out->]
(1) START-UP EXPENSES- For the period beginning on October 1, 2009, and ending on December 31, 2009, the Secretary of the Treasury shall make available to the Corporation such sums as may be necessary, but not to exceed $10,000,000, from amounts deposited in the general fund of the Treasury from fees under section 217(h)(3)(B)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ([<-Struck out]
(2) Fiscal year 2010 and subsequent years- For the period beginning on January 1, 2010, and ending on September 30, 2010, and for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2014, from amounts deposited in the general fund of the Treasury during the preceding fiscal year from fees under section 217(h)(3)(B)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ([<-Struck out]
(c) Matching Requirement-[<-Struck out]
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Treasury shall make available to the Corporation at least quarterly from amounts available in the Fund for the period beginning on January 1, 2010, and ending on September 30, 2010, and for each of fiscal years 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, an amount equal to the amount received from non-Federal sources by the Corporation. The amount made available to the Corporation under this paragraph for the period ending on September 30, 2010, and for each of those fiscal years, may not exceed $100,000,000.[<-Struck out]
(2) SUBSEQUENT YEARS- For each of fiscal years 2011 through 2014, from amounts deposited in the general fund of the Treasury during the preceding fiscal year from fees under section 217(h)(3)(B)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (
(A) for fiscal year 2011, the Corporation provides matching amounts from non-Federal sources equal in the aggregate to 50 percent or more of the amount transferred to the Fund under subsection (b); andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) for any fiscal year after fiscal year 2011, the Corporation provides matching amounts from non-Federal sources equal in the aggregate to 100 percent of the amount transferred to the Fund under subsection (b) for the fiscal year.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) the fair market value of such goods and services may not account for more than 80 percent of the matching requirement under paragraph (1) for the Corporation in any fiscal year.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) LIMITATION- The Corporation may not obligate or expend funds in excess of the total amount received by the Corporation for a fiscal year from Federal and non-Federal sources.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) MATCHING FUNDS- Any amount received by the Corporation from non-Federal sources in fiscal year 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, or 2014 that cannot be used to meet the matching requirement under subsection (c)(1) for the fiscal year in which amount was collected may be carried forward and treated as having been received in the succeeding fiscal year for purposes of meeting the matching requirement of subsection (c)(1) in such succeeding fiscal year.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 5. TRAVEL PROMOTION FUND FEES.
‘(i) IN GENERAL- No later than September 30, 2009, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish a fee for the use of the System and begin assessment and collection of that fee. The initial fee shall be the sum of--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(ii) DISPOSITION OF AMOUNTS COLLECTED- Amounts collected under clause (i)(I) shall be credited to the Travel Promotion Fund established by section 4 of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009. Amounts collected under clause (i)(II) shall be transferred to the general fund of the Treasury and made available to pay the costs incurred to administer the System.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 6. ASSESSMENT AUTHORITY.
(a) IN GENERALn General- Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Corporation may impose an annual assessment on United States members of the international travel and tourism industry (other than those described in section 2(b)(1)(C) or (H)) represented on the Board in proportion to their share of the aggregate international travel and tourism revenue of the industry. The Corporation shall be responsible for verifying, implementing, and collecting the assessment authorized by this section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) INITIAL ASSESSMENT LIMITEDnitial Assessment Limited- The Corporation may establish the initial assessment after the date of enactment of the Travel and Tourism Promotion Act at no greater, in the aggregate, than $20,000,000.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(C) determine the results of the referendum on the basis of weighted voting apportioned according to each business entity’s relative share of the aggregate annual United States international travel and tourism revenue for the industry per business entity, treating all related entities as a single entity.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- The Corporation shall establish a means of collecting the assessment that it finds to be efficient and effective. The Corporation may establish a late payment charge and rate of interest to be imposed on any person who fails to remit or pay to the Corporation any amount assessed by the Corporation under this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) INVESTMENT OF FUNDSnvestment of Funds- Pending disbursement pursuant to a program, plan, or project, the Corporation may invest funds collected through assessments, and any other funds received by the Corporation, only in obligations of the United States or any agency thereof, in general obligations of any State or any political subdivision thereof, in any interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit of a bank that is a member of the Federal Reserve System, or in obligations fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 7. OFFICE OF TRAVEL PROMOTION.
‘SEC. 202. OFFICE OF TRAVEL PROMOTION.
‘(2) QUALIFICATIONS- The Director shall be a citizen of the United States and have experience in a field directly related to the promotion of travel to and within the United States.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) serve as liaison to the Corporation for Travel Promotion established by section 2 of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 and support and encourage the development of programs to increase the number of international visitors to the United States for business, leisure, educational, medical, exchange, and other purposes;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(A) to disseminate information more effectively to potential international visitors about documentation and procedures required for admission to the United States as a visitor;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(d) REPORTS TO CONGRESSeports to Congress- Within a year after the date of enactment of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, and periodically thereafter as appropriate, the Secretary shall transmit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, and the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs describing the Office’s work with the Corporation, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to carry out subsection (c)(2).’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 8. RESEARCH PROGRAM.
‘SEC. 203. RESEARCH PROGRAM.
‘(a) IN GENERALn General- The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries shall expand and continue its research and development activities in connection with the promotion of international travel to the United States, including--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) expanding access to the official Mexican travel surveys data to provide the States with traveler characteristics and visitation estimates for targeted marketing programs;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) expanding the number of inbound air travelers sampled by the Commerce Department’s Survey of International Travelers to reach a 1 percent sample size and revising the design and format of questionnaires to accommodate a new survey instrument, improve response rates to at least double the number of States and cities with reliable international visitor estimates and improve market coverage;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(3) developing estimates of international travel exports (expenditures) on a State-by-State basis to enable each State to compare its comparative position to national totals and other States;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONSuthorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
To establish a non-profit corporation to communicate United States entry policies and otherwise promote leisure, business, and scholarly travel to the United States. June 5, 2009 Reported with amendments
June 5, 2009
Reported with amendments