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Bilirakis Talks Tourism

April 17, 2019
Press Release

Congressman Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL) is hosting a roundtable discussion with local and national travel and tourism leaders, as well as businesses directly impacted by the industry.  Participants will discuss key issues affecting this sector of the economy including: reauthorization of Brand USA, the JOLT Act, infrastructure investment, and the importance of international and domestic travel to the region’s economy.

Travel is one of the largest industries in the United States, employing 15.7 million Americans nationwide, and generating $2.5 trillion in economic output last year.  Of that amount, international travel imports accounted for $186 billion.  Travel-friendly legislation, such as the JOLT Act, will expand international travel opportunities to the United States from countries which have met rigorous safety screening standards.  Additionally, Representative Bilirakis is leading the efforts to reauthorize Brand USA, an international marketing program designed to promote travel to destinations throughout the United States. This highly successful program has generated $8.9 billion in economic impact, all while operating at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer.

Florida’s economy is heavily impacted by travel and tourism, where travelers spent $98.6 billion in the state in 2017. Tourism also created 921,020 jobs in Florida that same year. It is estimated that without these jobs, Florida’s unemployment rate would have skyrocketed from the low rate of 4.1% to a whopping 13.2%.   


“We all benefit when tourism is thriving.  Increased tourism means less tax burden, more jobs, and a strengthened economy.   As Co-Chair of the Congressional Travel & Tourism Caucus, I strive to support growth of this sector in Florida and around the country. I look forward to hearing directly from local leaders about how we can best achieve that important goal,” said Congressman Bilirakis.

Details for the roundtable discussion are provided below.  This event is open to the press. 


Thursday, April 18, 2019

10:30 a.m.

Advent Health Center Ice

3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd.

Wesley Chapel, FL 33544