Text: H.R.2579 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 104-288 (10/11/1996)
[104th Congress Public Law 288]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
UNITED STATES NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION ACT OF 1996
[[Page 110 STAT. 3402]]
Public Law 104-288
To establish the National Tourism Board and the National Tourism
Organization to promote international travel and tourism to the United
States. <<NOTE: Oct. 11, 1996 - [H.R. 2579]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: United States
National Tourism Organization Act of 1996.>>
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 22 USC 2141 note.>> SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``United States National Tourism
Organization Act of 1996''.
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 22 USC 2141.>> FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(a) Findings.--The Congress finds that--
(1) The travel and tourism industry is the second largest
service and retail industry in the United States, and travel and
tourism services ranked as the largest United States export in
1995, generating an $18.6 billion surplus for the United States.
(2) Domestic and international travel and tourism
expenditures totaled $433 billion in 1995, $415 billion spent
directly within the United States and an additional $18 billion
spent by international travelers on United States carriers
traveling to the United States.
(3) Direct travel and tourism receipts make up 6 percent of
the United States gross domestic product.
(4) In 1994, the travel and tourism industry was the
nation's second largest employer, directly responsible for 6.3
million jobs and indirectly responsible for another 8 million
(5) Employment in major sectors of the travel and tourism
industry is expected to increase 35 percent by the year 2005.
(6) 99.7 percent of travel businesses are defined by the
Federal government as small businesses.
(7) The White House Conference on Travel and Tourism in 1995
recommended the establishment of a new national tourism
organization to represent and promote international travel and
tourism to the United States.
(8) Recent Federal tourism promotion efforts have failed to
stem the rapid erosion of our country's international tourism
(9) In fact, the United States' share of worldwide travel
receipts dropped from a peak of 19.3 percent in 1992 down to
15.7 percent by the end of 1994.
(10) The United States has now fallen to only the third
leading international destination.
[[Page 110 STAT. 3403]]
(11) Because the United States Travel and Tourism
Administration had insufficient resources and effectiveness to
reverse the recent decline in the United States' share of
international travel and tourism, Congress discontinued USTTA's
(12) Promotion of the United States' international travel
and tourism interests can be more effectively managed by a
private organization at less cost to the taxpayers.
(b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to create a privately
managed, federally sanctioned United States National Tourism
Organization to represent and promote United States international travel
SEC. 3. <<NOTE: 22 USC 2141a.>> UNITED STATES NATIONAL TOURISM
(a) Establishment.--There is established the United States National
Tourism Organization which shall be a private not-for-profit
(b) Organization Not a Federal Agency.--The Organization shall (1)
not be considered a Federal agency, (2) have employees appointed without
regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing
appointments in the competitive service, and paid without regard to the
provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of that title
relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, and (3) not
be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act or any other Federal
law governing the operation of Federal agencies.
(c) IRS Status.--The Organization shall be presumed to have the
status of an organization described in section 501(c)(6) of the Internal
Revenue Code of 1986 until such time as the Secretary of the Treasury
determines that the Organization does not meet the requirements of such
(d) Purpose of the Organization.--The Organization shall--
(1) seek and work for an increase in the share of the United
States in the global tourism market;
(2) work in conjunction with Federal, State, and local
agencies to develop and implement a coordinated United States
travel and tourism policy;
(3) advise the President, the Congress, and the domestic
travel and tourism industry on the implementation of the
national travel and tourism strategy and on other matters
affecting travel and tourism;
(4) operate travel and tourism promotion programs outside
the United States in partnership with the travel and tourism
industry in the United States;
(5) establish a travel and tourism data bank to gather and
disseminate travel and tourism market data;
(6) conduct market research necessary for effective
promotion of the travel and tourism market; and
(7) promote United States travel and tourism, including
international trade shows and conferences.
(e) Powers of the Organization.--The Organization--
(1) shall have perpetual succession;
(2) shall represent the United States travel and tourism
industry in its relations with international tourism agencies;
(3) may sue and be sued, make contracts, and acquire, hold,
and dispose of real and personal property, as may be necessary
for its corporate purposes;
[[Page 110 STAT. 3404]]
(4) may provide financial assistance to any organization or
association in furtherance of the purpose of the corporation;
(5) may adopt and alter a corporate seal;
(6) may establish and maintain offices for the conduct of
the affairs of the Organization; and
(7) may conduct any and all acts necessary and proper to
carry out the purposes of this Act.
(1) Furtherance of Act.--The Organization may accept gifts,
legacies, devises, contributions, and payments in furtherance of
the purposes of this Act.
(2) Expenses.--The Organization may also accept such gifts,
legacies, devises, contributions, and payments on behalf of the
National Tourism Organization Board to cover the expenses of the
(g) Political Activities Prohibited.--The Organization shall not
engage in any activities designed in part or in whole to promote a
political party or the candidacy of any person seeking or holding
SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 22 USC 2141b.>> UNITED STATES NATIONAL TOURISM
(a) Establishment.--There is established the United States National
Tourism Organization Board for the purposes of governing and supervising
the activities of the Organization.
(b) Members.--The Board shall be self perpetuating and the initial
members of the Board shall be appointed or elected as follows:
(1) The Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade
of the Department of Commerce, who will serve as a member ex
(2) 5 State Travel Directors elected by the National Council
of State Travel Directors;
(3) 5 members elected by the International Association of
Convention and Visitors Bureaus;
(4) 3 members elected by the Air Transport Association;
(5) 1 member elected by the National Association of
Recreational Vehicle Parks and Campgrounds, 1 member elected by
the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association;
(6) 2 members elected by the International Association of
Amusement Parks and Attractions;
(7) 3 members of the travel payments industry appointed by
the Travel Industry Association of America;
(8) 5 members elected by the American Hotel and Motel
(9) 2 members elected by the American Car Rental
Association; 1 member elected by the American Automobile
Association, 1 member elected by the American Bus Association, 1
member elected by Amtrak;
(10) 1 member elected by the American Society of Travel
Agents, and 1 member elected by the Association of Retail Travel
(11) 1 member elected by the National Tour Association, 1
member elected by the United States Tour Operators Association;
(12) 1 member elected by the Cruise Lines International
Association, 1 member elected by the National Restaurant
Association, 1 member elected by the National Park Hospitality
[[Page 110 STAT. 3405]]
Association, 1 member elected by the Airports Council
International, 1 member elected by the Meeting Professionals
International, 1 member elected by the American Sightseeing
International, 4 members elected by the Travel Industry
Association of America;
(13) 1 member elected by the Rural Tourism Foundation;
(14) 1 member elected by the American Association of
(15) 1 member elected by the National Trust for Historic
(c) Chair.--The Board shall elect a Chair for an initial term of 2
years. After such initial term, the Chair shall be elected for such term
as the Board may designate.
(d) President.--The Board shall appoint and establish the
compensation and duties of a President of the Organization who shall
assist the Chair in organizing and carrying out the necessary functions
of the Board. The duties of the President shall include serving as a
non-voting member of the Tourism Policy Council established under
section 301 of the International Travel Act of 1961.
(e) Powers and Duties of the Board.--
(1) The Board shall adopt for itself and the Organization
such bylaws and delegation of authority as it deems necessary
and proper, which shall--
(A) require at least a three-fifths majority vote
(B) set forth the process for the number, terms, and
appointment or election of future Board members;
(C) provide the authority for the hiring and
compensation of staff; and
(D) establish the procedures for calling meetings
and providing appropriate notice, including procedures
for closing meetings where confidential information or
strategy will be discussed.
(2) The Board shall designate a place of business for the
receipt of process for the Organization, subject to the laws of
the State or district so designated, where such laws do not
conflict with the provisions of this Act.
(3) The Board shall present testimony and make available
reports on its findings and recommendations to the Congress and
to legislatures of the States on at least a biannual basis.
(4) Within one year of the date of its first meeting, the
Board shall report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science,
and Transportation and the House Committee on Commerce on a plan
for long-term financing for the Organization, with a focus on
contributions from the private sector and State and local
entities, and, if necessary, make recommendations to the
Congress and the President for further legislation.
(f) Compensation and Expenses.--The Chair and members of the Board
shall serve without compensation but may be compensated for expenses
incurred in carrying out the duties of the Board.
(g) Immunity.--Members of the Board shall not be personally liable
for any action taken by the Board.
(h) Meetings.--The Board shall meet at the call of the Chair, but
not less frequently than semiannually. The Board shall meet within 2
months of appointment of all members, but in any case
[[Page 110 STAT. 3406]]
no later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 5. <<NOTE: 22 USC 2141c.>> SYMBOLS, EMBLEMS, TRADEMARKS, AND
(a) In General.--The Organization shall provide for the design of
such symbols, emblems, trademarks, and names as may be appropriate and
shall take all action necessary to protect and regulate the use of such
symbols, emblems, trademarks, and names under law.
(b) Exclusive Right of the Organization.--The Organization shall
have exclusive right to use the name ``United States National Tourism
Organization'' and the acronym ``USNTO'', the symbol described in
subsection (c)(1)(A), the emblem described in subsection (c)(1)(B), and
the words ``United States National Tourism Organization'', or any
combination thereof, subject to the use reserved by subsection (c)(2).
(c) Unauthorized Use; Civil Action.--
(1) In general.--Any person who, without the consent of the
(A) the symbol of the Organization;
(B) the emblem of the Organization;
(C) any trademark, trade name, sign, symbol, or
insignia falsely representing association with, or
authorization by, the Organization; or
(D) the words ``United States National Tourism
Organization'' or the acronym ``USNTO'' or any
combination or simulation thereof tending to cause
confusion, to cause mistake, to deceive, or to falsely
suggest a connection with the Organization or any
for the purpose of trade, to induce the sale of any goods or
services, or to promote any exhibition, shall be subject to suit
in a civil action brought in the appropriate court by the
Organization for the remedies provided in the Act of July 5,
1946 (60 Stat. 427; 15 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) (popularly known as
the Trademark Act of 1946).
(2) Exception.--Paragraph (1)(D) shall not be construed to
prohibit any person who, before the date of the enactment of
this Act, actually used the words ``United States National
Tourism Organization'' or the acronym ``USNTO'' for any lawful
purpose from continuing such lawful use for the same purpose and
for the same goods and services.
(d) Contributors and Suppliers.--The Organization may authorize
contributors and suppliers of goods and services to use the trade name
of the Organization as well as any trademark, symbol, insignia, or
emblem of the Organization in advertising that the contributions, goods,
or services were donated, supplied, or furnished to or for the use of,
approved, selected, or used by the Organization.
(d) Limitation.--The Organization may not adopt or use any existing
symbol, emblem, trademark, or name that is protected under law
(including any treaty to which the United States is a party).
SEC. 6. <<NOTE: 22 USC 2141d.>> UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT COOPERATION.
(a) In General.--The Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of State, the
United States Trade Representative, Director of the United States
Information Agency, and the Trade and Development Agency shall--
[[Page 110 STAT. 3407]]
(1) give priority consideration to recommendations of the
(2) cooperate with the Organization in carrying out its
(b) Report.--The Under Secretary for International Trade, the
Assistant Secretary for Trade Development, the Assistant Secretary and
Director General for the United States and Foreign Commercial Service,
the Director of the United States Information Agency, the United States
Trade Representative, and the Trade and Development Agency shall report
within 2 years of the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 2
years thereafter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and
Transportation and the House Committee on Commerce on any travel and
tourism activities carried out with the participation of the United
States Federal Government.
SEC. 7. <<NOTE: 22 USC 2141e.>> SUNSET.
(a) Two Year Deadline for Development of Comprehensive Long-Term
Financing Plan.--If within 2 years after the date of the enactment of
this Act, the Board has not developed and implemented a comprehensive
plan for the long-term financing of the Organization, then sections 3
through 6 of this Act are repealed.
(b) Suspension or Termination of Operations for Insufficient
Funds.--The Board may suspend or terminate the Organization if
sufficient private sector and State or local government funds are not
identified or made available to continue the Organization's operations.
SEC. 8. TRADE PROMOTION COORDINATING COMMITTEE.
Section 2312 of the Export Enhancement Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 4727)
is amended in subsection (c) as follows:
(1) By striking ``and'' at the end of paragraph (4).
(2) By striking the period at the end of paragraph (5) and
inserting ``; and''.
(3) By adding after paragraph (5) the following:
``(6) reflect the recommendations of the United States
National Tourism Organization to the degree considered
appropriate by the TPCC.''.
SEC. 9. REPEAL OF UNITED STATES TRAVEL AND TOURISM ADMINISTRATION AND
(a) In General.--Sections 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 301, 303, 304,
305, 306, and 307 of the International Travel Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C
2123, 2123a-2123d, 2124, 2124b, and 2126-2129) are repealed.
(b) Tourism Policy and Export Promotion Act of 1992.--Section 4 of
the Tourism Policy and Export Promotion Act <<NOTE: 22 USC 2124c.>> of
1992 is amended in subsection (c)(1)(B)(i) and subsection (c)(2) by
striking ``Under Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism'' and
inserting ``Secretary of Commerce''.
SEC. 10. POWERS AND DUTIES OF SECRETARY OF COMMERCE.
Section 201 of the International Travel Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2122)
is amended to read as follows:
``Sec. 201. In order to carry out the national tourism policy
established in section 101(b) and by the United States National Tourism
Organization Act of 1996, the Secretary of Commerce
[[Page 110 STAT. 3408]]
(hereafter in this Act referred to as the `Secretary') shall develop and
implement a comprehensive plan to perform critical tourism functions
which, in the determination of the Secretary, are not being carried out
by the United States National Tourism Organization or other private
sector entities or State governments. Such plan may include programs
``(1) collect and publish comprehensive international travel
and tourism statistics and other marketing information;
``(2) design, implement, and publish international travel
and tourism forecasting models;
``(3) facilitate the reduction or elimination of barriers to
international travel and tourism; and
``(4) work with the United States National Tourism
Organization, the Tourism Policy Council, State tourism
agencies, and Federal agencies in--
``(A) coordinating the Federal implementation of a
national travel and tourism policy;
``(B) representing the United States' international
travel and tourism interests to foreign governments; and
``(C) maintaining United States participation in
international travel and tourism trade shows and fairs
until such activities can be transferred to such
Organization and other private sector entities.''.
SEC. 11. TOURISM POLICY COUNCIL.
Section 302 of the International Travel Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C.
2124a) is repealed and the following is inserted:
``Sec. 301. <<NOTE: Establishment. 22 USC 2124.>> (a) In order to
ensure that the United States' national interest in tourism is fully
considered in Federal decision making, there is established a
coordinating council to be known as the Tourism Policy Council
(hereafter in this Act referred to as the `Council').
``(b) The Council shall consist of the following individuals:
``(1) The Secretary of Commerce, who shall serve as the
Chairman of the Council.
``(2) The Under Secretary of Commerce for International
``(3) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
``(4) The Secretary of State.
``(5) The Secretary of the Interior.
``(6) The Secretary of Labor.
``(7) The Secretary of Transportation.
``(8) The Commissioner of the United States Customs
``(9) The President of the United States National Tourism
``(10) The Commissioner of the Immigration and
``(11) Representatives of other Federal agencies which have
affected interests at each meeting as deemed appropriate and
invited by the Chairman.
``(c) Members of the Council shall serve without additional
``(d) The Council shall conduct its first meeting not later than 6
months after the date of the enactment of the United States National
Tourism Organization Act of 1996. Thereafter the Council shall meet not
less than 2 times each year.
[[Page 110 STAT. 3409]]
``(e)(1) The Council shall coordinate national policies and programs
relating to international travel and tourism, recreation, and national
heritage resources, which involve Federal agencies;
``(2) The Council may request directly from any Federal department
or agency such personnel, information, services, or facilities as deemed
necessary by the Chairman and to the extent permitted by law and within
the limits of available funds.
``(3) Federal departments and agencies may, in their discretion,
detail to temporary duty with the Council such personnel as the Chairman
may request for carrying out the functions of the Council. Each such
detail of personnel shall be without loss of seniority, pay, or other
``(f) Where necessary to prevent the public disclosure of non-public
information which may be presented by a Council member, the Council may
hold, at the discretion of the Chairman, a closed meeting which may
exclude any individual who is not an officer or employee of the United
``(g) The Council <<NOTE: Reports.>> shall submit an annual report
for the preceding fiscal year to the President for transmittal to the
Congress on or before December 31 of each year. The report shall
``(1) a comprehensive and detailed report of the activities
and accomplishments of the Council;
``(2) the results of Council efforts to coordinate the
policies and programs of member's agencies that have a
significant effect on international travel and tourism,
recreation, and national heritage resources, including progress
toward resolving interagency conflicts and development of
cooperative program activity;
``(3) an analysis of problems referred to the Council by
State and local governments, the tourism industry, the United
States National Tourism Organization, the Secretary of Commerce,
along with a detailed summary of any action taken or anticipated
to resolve such problems; and
``(4) any recommendation as deemed appropriate by the
``(h) The membership of the President of the United States National
Tourism Organization on the Council shall not in itself make the Federal
Advisory Committee Act applicable to the
[[Page 110 STAT. 3410]]
SEC. 12. DEFINITIONS. <<NOTE: 22 USC 2141f.>>
For purposes of this Act--
(1) the term ``Organization'' means the United States
National Tourism Organization established under section 3; and
(2) the term ``Board'' means the United States National
Tourism Organization Board established under section 4.
Approved October 11, 1996.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 2579 (S. 1735):
HOUSE REPORTS: No. 104-839, Pt. 1 (Comm. on Commerce).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 104-341 accompanying S. 1735 (Comm. on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 142 (1996):
Aug. 2, S. 1735 considered and passed Senate.
Sept. 26, H.R. 2579 considered and passed House.
Sept. 28, considered and passed Senate.