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Senate Proceeding on Jun 16th, 2009 :: 1:09:40 to 1:17:30
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Mel Martinez

1:09:40 to 1:17:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mel Martinez

Mel Martinez

1:09:41 to 1:10:01( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: quorum call: mr. martinez: madam pre the presiding officer: the senator florida. mr. further proceedings under the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: objection. mr. martinez: this week the senate will be considering the travel promotion act, which is an important bill for my home

Mel Martinez

1:10:02 to 1:10:23( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: state of florida. every year millions of tourists travel to the united states from overseas helping our economy, generating revenues for states and communities and opportunities forillions americans. but for most of this last decade, there's been a jooff in visiters to the united states if other countries -- a

Mel Martinez

1:10:24 to 1:10:45( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: huge dropoff from the united states from countries. the united states tourism industry has expernced 182 billion dollars in lost spending, $27 billion in lost tax receipts, and $47 billion in lost payroll, and we've also

Mel Martinez

1:10:46 to 1:11:07( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: lost 245,000 jobs. one in every -- one in eight americans is directly or indirectly employed by the travel industry. the industry contributeds $115 billion in tax revenues. in florida, home to walt disney

Mel Martinez

1:11:08 to 1:11:29( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: wo many beautiful beaches, the everglades, some of the best fishing and snorkeling in the world, and the oldest settlements in north america, the tourismndustr accounts for more than 25% of sales tax collections.

Mel Martinez

1:11:30 to 1:11:51( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: last year the united states had a $633 -- had international travelers than we had in the year 2000. florida has taken a harder hit, losing $1.3 million visitors over the same period of time. numbers don't lie. our lack of attention to self-promotion is costing us money, jobs, and opportunity.

Mel Martinez

1:11:52 to 1:12:12( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: it's not just that people aren't traveling much the fact is that people are travelingo some destinations other than the united states. the world competion for the travel dollar is keen. countries all over the world are doing all that th attract visiters to their country. were competing in a world marketplace.

Mel Martinez

1:12:13 to 1:12:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: this is an alarming trend that we're seeing here in the states and it clearly hurts our economy, but it also has an impact on our image around the world. studies show that a person's opinion of our country is greatly improved when they visit our country. we're our own best ambassadors. when fewer people visit here, there are fewer opportunities

Mel Martinez

1:12:34 to 1:12:54( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: for others to so what our nation has to offer and what we're all b so increase about. so an increase in travel to the united states is good. one of the best ways to address this is to have campaign to promote the united states as a travel destination.

Mel Martinez

1:12:55 to 1:13:16( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: this is a way of reversing this trend that we have seen. this is a way of bringing back some of the declines to a better day so that we can and opportunities in o country. now here's an example of what other nations spend to promote themselves to the t around the world. here is what we are competing against. this is what the united states

Mel Martinez

1:13:17 to 1:13:39( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: is up against as we look to compete for the travel dollar. our close neighbor of mexico spends $149 million promoting travel to mexico. our next-closest neighbor, our next close neighbor, canada, spends $58 million in travel to its destination.

Mel Martinez

1:13:40 to 1:14:01( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: promoting travel to their country. us a strail spends $113 million. and the countries of the european union collectively spend $800 million on self-promotion. now, how much does the united states spend? we spend absolutely nothing. we spend nothing in promoting our tourism. for years sectors within the agriculture industry have used

Mel Martinez

1:14:02 to 1:14:22( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: the so-lled checkoff program to promote their products. we have heard the slogans, "pork, the other white meat." beef, it's what's for dinner. milk, it does the body good." producers kick in their own money to create a marketing campaign that benefits all producers.

Mel Martinez

1:14:23 to 1:14:43( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: we need the same thing for our tourism. which is why i urge my colleagues to support moving toward a travel promotion afnlgt it will benefit our economy, complement our nation's diplomatic efforts and perhaps most importantly it will help create new jobs. the travel promotion act will enable the united states to

Mel Martinez

1:14:44 to 1:15:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: become its own ambas establishing a public-private campaign toromote tourism abroad. the campaign would be led by an nonpartisan corporation apindividuals appointed by the secretary of commerce. each would represent the various regions around the nation and

Mel Martinez

1:15:06 to 1:15:26( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: bring their expertise to promoting international travel. the program will not use taxpayer money but will instead rely on user fees paid by contributions from corporate partners. additionally, the act will increase coordination among the commerce, state, and homeland security departments to streamline the entry and departure procedure for our

Mel Martinez

1:15:27 to 1:15:51( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: foreign tourists. you see, not only are we not promoting ourselves, we're also doing a lot to complicate travel to our country because of those things which were done as a necessity created a lot of layers of complications for foreign travelers to vis our country. we h kind of protection about who

Mel Martinez

1:15:52 to 1:16:12( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: visits our land and protect our we need to use some common sense about how this is done and incorporate modern technologie to ensure that the travel experience to the united states is not cumbersome, is not complicated and it is transparent and enjoyableor in today's economy, every visitor counts. in a competive world that we

Mel Martinez

1:16:13 to 1:16:34( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: live in, every competive dollar that can be spent out there promoting travel to the united sta benefit of the job creation we will see in places like my home state. when you consider visitors from overseas spend an estimated $4,500 every time they visit the united states, more visitors will mean more jobs for

Mel Martinez

1:16:35 to 1:16:56( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: americans at a time unemployment continues to rise. so i truly to join me in supporting this bill as we work toward increasing our nation's presence as a tourist destination aund the world. i hope that as the week unfolds that we will have an opportunity to engage in conversation and discussion and debate about this

Mel Martinez

1:16:57 to 1:17:17( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: very, very important tourism bill which will help most states of this country. the fact is that we know florida to be a significant tourism destin we're proud of that in our state. but the fact is that states around the country all can benefit and do benefit greatly from foretourists visiting our country. it is a -- foreign tourists

Mel Martinez

1:17:18 to 1:17:31( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: sreuflgt our country. it is a greatreen way for promoting jobs and opportunities in our country and long overdue. if we're going to compete effectively with countries abroad, we must in fact also be competitive in how we promote

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