U.S. Travel Association Senior Vice President for Government Relations Tori Barnes issued the following statement on House Committee on Natural Resources passage of the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, just days after 126 local and national organizations sent a joint letter to the committee voicing support for the bill:
“Our national parks are a huge draw for domestic and international visitors alike, but facilities and infrastructure that are in dire need of repair threaten the parks' future viability. These parks are not only of great historical importance, but they offer significant economic contributions to the regions in which they are located.
“With a parks maintenance backlog of nearly $12 billion, it is critical that Congress establish a dedicated source of funding to address these needs. The ripple effect of diminished national parks visitation would cause serious economic harm in gateway communities. Through national parks visitation, these gateway communities enjoy $18 billion in visitor spending, which supported 306,000 jobs in 2017.
“The U.S. Travel Association applauds Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT-1), Ranking Member Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-3) and other bill sponsors for recognizing the need for a dedicated source of funding for our parks, and we urge Congress to take up and pass this bill before the end of the year.”
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. Travelers in the United States are estimated to spend $1.1 trillion in 2022 (still 10% below 2019 levels). U.S. Travel advocates for policies to accelerate an even recovery across the travel industry and restore economic and job growth for this essential contributor to our nation’s success. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.