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National Restaurant Association - Commerce Department appoints industry members to tourism board

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Commerce Department appoints industry members to tourism board

The U.S. Department of Commerce said it has appointed four restaurant and hospitality industry leaders to serve on its Corporation for Travel Promotion Board of Directors.

The CTP is a nonprofit corporation that promotes business, leisure and scholarly travel to the United States, and helps communicate U.S. entry policies to international audiences. It was established by the Travel Promotion Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. Its goal is to market the United States as a travel and tourism destination to visitors from all over the world.

The appointments, which were made earlier this month by U.S. acting commerce secretary Rebecca Blank, consist of one new member and three reappointments. The new appointee is Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of hospitality conglomerate Marriott International Inc., and the reappointed members are Roy Yamaguchi, chef-owner of Las Vegas-based Roy's Restaurants Inc.; Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, the state's travel and tourism board; and George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, New York City's travel and tourism board.

"International visitors to the United States play a critical role in creating jobs here in the U.S., boosting both our regional and national economies," Blank said. "Having this diverse group of industry leaders on the board will help strengthen our ability to promote the U.S. as a top tourist destination."

In the first half of 2012, international tourists have spent an estimated $82.2 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services, which is an increase of 11 percent over the same period a year ago. The CTP's goal is to attract more than 100 million international tourists a year by 2021.

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