The U.S. Commerce Department has appointed 11 travel and tourism industry leaders to serve on a new non-profit corporation that is to promote travel to the United States and to improve the entry process so that visitors will want to return.
Daniel Halpern, president and CEO, of Jackmont Hospitality Inc. of Atlanta, is one of the appointees. Mr. Halpern founded the foodservice company in 1994 with the late former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson Jr.
Mr. Jackson’s daughter, Brooke Jackson Edmond, also was a founder of the company, which began as a single retail location in what is now Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Jackmont Hospitality supplies the foodservice needs of corporations, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, government agencies, retail developers, airports and other locations. Since 2003, it has partnered with Sodexho USA, a subsidiary of the French company Sodexho Alliance, the world’s largest foodservice company.
It has relationships with national brands such as California Pizza Kitchen, Pizza Hut Express, Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Taco Bell and T.G.I Friday’s.
According to a Commerce Department press release, the new Corporation for Travel Promotion’s efforts to promote America as a travel destination will be funded by private donations and matching funds from a new fee collected from foreign travelers to the U.S.
“Many other nations operate ministries of tourism that actively market their countries as tourist destinations around the world,” the press release says. “The corporation will help get America into the game and encourage people across the globe to travel to the U.S.”
According to the release, the travel and tourism industry represents $1.3 trillion of the U.S. economy, supporting 8.2 million U.S. jobs and accounts for 8 percent of all U.S. exports. It also says that one out of every 16 Americans work, either directly or indirectly, in a travel and tourism related industry.
Other appointees include Caroline Beteta, president and CEO, California Travel & Tourism Commission, Sacramento, Calif.; Stephen Cloobeck, chairman and CEO, Diamond Resorts International, Las Vegas, Nev.; George Fertitta, CEO, NYC & Co., New York;
Tom Klein, president, Sabre Holdings, Southlake, Texas; David Lim, chief marketing office, Amtrak, Washington; Mark Schwab, senior vice president-alliances, international and regulatory affairs, United Airlines, Chicago, Ill.;
Diane Shober, tourism director, state of Wyoming, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Al Weiss, president, worldwide operations, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Orlando, Fla.; Roy Yamaguchi, owner and founder, Roy’s Restaurant, Newport, Calif. and Lynda S. Zengerle, partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Washington.
For more information call the office of public affairs, 202-482-4883.