Travel Promotion Act Levels the Playing Field
President Obama’s signing of the Travel Promotion Act could translate into millions of dollars in new business for campgrounds and RV parks in both rural and urban areas across the country, according to the trade association that represents privately owned parks.
The legislation, approved with bipartisan congressional support in late February, creates a Corporation for Travel Promotion, which would work closely with the departments of Commerce, Homeland Security and State to develop a nationally coordinated, multi-channel marketing and communications program to attract more international visitors and explain travel security policies.
“This legislation will help us better compete with other countries that have been actively marketing themselves to travelers throughout the world,” said Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), adding that stepped up international leisure travel to the U.S. will likely result in increased visits to campgrounds, RV parks and resorts.
While advocates of the legislation estimated that the program could generate as many as 1.6 million new inbound visitors a year, ARVC believes about 3% of those visitors, or 48,000 people, would likely stay in both urban and rural campgrounds, RV parks and resorts as they travel.
David Gorin, ARVC’s government affairs counsel, said that if the travel promotion program brings 48,000 new campers to U.S. parks each year, that could translate into $14.1 million in private park revenue, assuming an average stay of seven nights at $42 per night, the nightly median average for premium sites referenced in the latest ARVC economic report.
These visitors would also be expected to spend a total of about $90 per day for all other goods and services, such as gas, food and local attractions, which would translate into about $30.25 million revenue for the other businesses in the communities where the parks are located.
The Corporation for Travel Promotion would be funded through a matching program with up to $100 million in private sector contributions and a $10 fee on foreign travelers who do not pay a $131 fee for a visa to enter the United States. No U.S. tax money would be provided for this market effort.