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International tourism bill passes

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate has again passed legislation intended to attract more foreign tourists to the United States, a measure U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) supported as a cosponsor.

Cochran voted with the Senate to pass—for a second time—the Tourism Promotion Act. The bill was attached by the House to HR.1299, legislation involving U.S. Capitol Police policies. The measure was passed 78-18. With the Senate vote, it will now be sent to the President for his consideration.

The Senate passed its original tourism bill (S.1023) last September.

“I look forward to the President signing this bill into law so we can begin to attract more international tourists to Mississippi and the United States. I believe that Mississippi, as the Hospitality State, can benefit from the programs created with this legislation,” Cochran said.

The Tourism Promotion Act would establish a nonprofit Corporation for Travel Promotion to implement a nationally-coordinated travel promotion program that would market the United States to international tourists.

The measure also establishes an Office of Travel Promotion within the Department of Commerce to coordinate with the federal departments of State and Homeland Security to improve the U.S. visa and entry process for foreign visitors, while maintaining border security. The Congressional Budget Office determined that the legislation will help reduce the federal deficit by almost $500 million over 10 years.

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