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National Restaurant Association - NRA salutes new chairs of Congressional Tourism Caucus

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NRA salutes new chairs of Congressional Tourism Caucus

The National Restaurant Association welcomes Reps. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) as the newly announced co-chairs of the Congressional Travel & Tourism Caucus for the 112th Congress.

Farr's district includes Monterey, Calif. Bonner represents the six-county Gulf Coast area that includes Mobile, Ala. The Caucus supports and develops national policy that promotes domestic and international travel to the United States. More than 100 lawmakers were part of the caucus last year.

Bonner said he was deeply affected by his work with Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi restaurateurs and other hospitality-business owners after the Gulf Coast oil spill last year.

"Too often, the travel industry's impact isn't fully appreciated until a disaster strikes and the resulting loss of tourist dollars is felt throughout local economies, from hotels and restaurants to schools," Bonner said.

The NRA will work with members of the caucus to help ensure a good rollout of the Travel Promotion Act of 2010, which created the U.S.'s first destination-marketing program to draw more international visitors to the United States. The NRA was a strong supported of the Act. A new Corporation for Travel Promotion oversees the TPA's implementation. Two NRA members -- Daniel Halpern, Jackmont Hospitality, Atlanta, and Roy Yamaguchi, Roy's Restaurants, Hawaii -- are on the 11-person board of the Corporation for Travel Promotion.

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