U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of David Bernhardt as secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI):
“The travel industry welcomes the Senate’s confirmation of David Bernhardt as secretary of the Department of the Interior.
“As an experienced leader of the agency, Secretary Bernhardt has a deep appreciation for why national parks are often called ‘America’s best idea,’ and we applaud his recent support of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. We look forward to working with the secretary to advance the preservation of our public lands and to continue our collaboration with DOI to establish a dedicated source of funding to tackle the $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog in the parks.
“In 2018, 318 million visitors spent billions in gateway communities, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs. Communities across the country rely on well-maintained parks and robust visitation, and it is critically important that our parks are equipped to handle the millions of visitors who come to enjoy America’s parks.
“U.S. Travel is grateful for all the Department of the Interior does to support and protect our public lands, and we look forward to a continuation of the travel industry’s positive relationship with the agency under Secretary Bernhardt’s leadership.”
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.