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Helen Marana is the director of the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, an integral part of the Commerce Department which is perhaps the most prolific number crunching department in the US government.
With Helen's help we take a glance at arguably one of the worst years in economic history with the loss of 400,000 jobs, one billion dollars in US revenues, and a loss of one million visitors.
On the brighter side, Helen reports that it appears we are turning the corner according to new stats in from early 2010 which, quite frankly, are astounding. Through February of this year, the US reports an increase of three percent in spending from International visitors and preliminary information in March shows an upward growth of 11% in the tourism and travel.
Helen points to several educational programs that help prepare visitors’ expectations as one of the reasons we are seeing more meetings and conventions coming in from the International sector.
Helen also talks about the President endorsement of the National Export Initiative (NEI) designed to ensure new positions in tourism and travel.