U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement congratulating Rex Tillerson on his confirmation as Secretary of State by the U.S. Senate:
We applaud the U.S. Senate for confirming Mr. Tillerson into this crucial role, and look forward to working with him and his team.
The Department of State plays a critical role in our country's travel policies, which in turn play an outsize part in the U.S. economy. During his confirmation hearings, Mr. Tillerson indicated that he understood the need for measures to strengthen security while still keeping the economy healthy.
U.S. Travel has long asserted that security and efficient travel are not mutually exclusive. First impressions are important, and smart visa policies that secure our homeland while affording legitimate visitors a speedy entry experience create a positive sentiment about America around the world, spurring more international visits and economic growth.
Mr. Tillerson's extensive international business experience should well inform him of the tremendous need to preserve America's Open Skies agreements. More flights to and from the U.S., and more choice for American travelers, equals more American jobs. Travel is among the most productive contributors to the U.S. trade balance, and Open Skies policy is a critical element of that record of success.
Keeping demand for U.S. travel high is crucial to our country's continued economic growth. The U.S. travel community congratulates Mr. Tillerson on his confirmation, and stands ready to advise him and the new State Department leadership on intelligent policies that will shape America's place in our increasingly connected world.