The Commerce Department is once again recruiting in the travel industry for volunteers to sit on the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

May the department be overwhelmed.

We're hoping for a good turnout because this advisory board has a symbolic importance even in times when it doesn't seem to be doing much.

The board's purpose is to advise the government, specifically the secretary of commerce, on policy matters affecting travel and tourism, and to ensure "regular contact between the government and the travel and tourism sector." We've always liked the sound of that.

The board's current charter expires next month, but it is expected to be renewed, which is why a batch of new members is needed. In its recent request for volunteers, the department reiterated its policy of seeking a cross section of travel people, including CEOs or executives with a comparable level of responsibility.

A majority of the current 29-member board, in fact, consists of CEOs, including such familiar names as Richard Anderson of Delta Airlines, Sam Gilliland of Sabre, Adam Goldstein of Royal Caribbean International and Hubert Joly of Carlson.

We thank them all for their service, and we hope the next advisory board is populated by an equally stellar line-up.

Our government, as recent events have demonstrated, needs all the advice it can get.
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