The U.S. Travel Association lauded the Senate confirmation Tuesday of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, saying her proven support for the travel industry will be key to recovery.

"Secretary Raimondo brings strong leadership to a Cabinet agency that will be pivotal to an important and difficult task: restarting the devastated U.S. travel industry as the country finally emerges from the pandemic," U.S. Travel president and CEO Roger Dow said in statement.

Roger Dow
Roger Dow

As governor of Rhode Island, Dow said, Raimondo advocated for investment in travel and tourism as a cornerstone of her state's economic recovery, "and we are confident she will bring that same sensibility to her leadership of the Commerce Department."

"We are ready and eager to work with her to chart the recovery course for one of the largest American industries, which will be critical to the U.S. economic and jobs recovery at large," he said.

Dow said leisure and hospitality accounts for 39% of all U.S. jobs lost to the pandemic, and that the travel industry is projected to take five years to fully recover from this crisis.

"But with a bold, focused, national strategy, the U.S. Department of Commerce can lead a multiagency effort to accelerate rehiring in the travel industry and shorten the timeline for recovery," Dow said.

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