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May 17, 2011

Corporation for Travel Promotion Names CEO

Longtime hospitality industry leader, Jim Evans, will lead America's first international travel promotion program

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the Corporation for Travel Promotion named Jim Evans, a longtime leader in the hospitality industry, its first CEO. Evans will be responsible for leading the Corporation’s efforts to promote the United States as a travel destination and strengthen the U.S. tourism industry. Each overseas visitor to America spends an average of $4,000 per trip on hotels, restaurants, attractions, retail and other activities.

“I congratulate Jim on his appointment as the first CEO of the newly created Corporation for Travel Promotion,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “Promoting tourism is an important part of the President’s National Export Initiative and the overall U.S. economy, and we are fortunate to have Jim’s leadership in growing this industry. I look forward to working with him to bring more visitors to our country.”

“After considering dozens of candidates, Jim stood out to us as one of the most accomplished executives in the industry today, and he is the Board’s unanimous choice to build America’s first national program to attract international travel,” said Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Corporation for Travel Promotion. “Jim’s deep knowledge and decades of leadership in the travel industry are exactly what we need to build this organization.”

“Attracting more international travelers to the U.S. will benefit the industry and our country by creating jobs, growing exports and spurring economic growth,” said Evans. “I am proud and excited to serve the travel industry - and our country - in carrying out this important mission.”

Evans has decades of experience leading and developing businesses in the travel industry. His experience includes:

  • President and CEO of Best Western International, one of the world’s largest hotel brands with 4,000 hotels in 90 countries and territories, where he developed a new global strategy and business plan focused on marketing and sales and recruited one of the best-recognized management teams in the industry.
  • CEO of Jenny Craig, where he built a team that led the company to unprecedented growth, improving all key metrics and increasing annual revenue from $120 million to $500 million.
  • Senior Vice President of Marketing of Hyatt Hotels, where he initiated a new global marketing strategy for one of the world’s most prominent hotel brands.

Evans will be formally introduced to the industry and the media at International Pow Wow, the travel industry’s premier international marketplace taking place in San Francisco on May 21-25.

The Travel Promotion Act, which created the Corporation for Travel Promotion, was signed into law in 2010 in order to help the U.S. capture a greater share of the global travel market. Once it is implemented, the entity will have a budget of up to $200 million, with half of the funding coming from the private sector and no cost to U.S. taxpayers. The program will be responsible for using advertising and other marketing tactics to help increase visitor spending in the U.S.

Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries. Over the next 10 years, travel and tourism’s total contribution to global GDP is forecast to rise to $9.2 trillion, bringing with it 65 million new jobs. By 2021, travel and tourism will be responsible for one in 10 jobs, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. Within the United States, travel and tourism is currently the nation’s largest services sector export, representing 25 percent of service exports and 7 percent of all U.S. exports.

The Corporation for Travel Promotion is a non-profit corporation created by Congress for the purpose of promoting foreign leisure, business and scholarly travel to the United States and maximizing the economic and social benefits of that travel for communities across the country. For more information about the Corporation for Travel Promotion, please visit www.CorporationForTravelPromotion.com.

To view the press release on the Corporation for Travel Promotion’s website, please visit:

U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI), 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room 1003, Washington, DC 20230; Phone:(202) 482-0140; Fax: (202) 482-2887; Website: www.tinet.ita.doc.gov; Email: Tinet_info@ita.doc.gov