WASHINGTON, March 26, 2014 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today applauded Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s decision to appoint David Berg to serve on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. Berg, A4A’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, will serve a two-year term as a member of the board where he will advise Sec. Pritzker on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry, and the critical role U.S. airlines play in connecting the world and contributing to the global economy.
The U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board advises the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs that affect the U.S. travel and tourism industry, offers counsel on current and emerging issues, and provides a forum for discussing and proposing solutions to industry-related problems.
Berg noted the important contribution airlines make in facilitating international trade and tourism. Air travelers journeying to and from the United States reached a record 185.4 million in 2013. The Department of Commerce reported that international visitor spending in the United States totaled $181 billion in 2013, with $41 billion spent on U.S. airlines helping to generate an additional $140 billion on the purchase of other U.S. travel and tourism goods and services. The United States traded a record $940 billion of merchandise by air last year, much of it in high-value items, including $431 billion in exports. Notably, the value of a kilogram exported by air was 129 times the value of a kilogram transported by sea.
“The U.S. airline industry is indispensable to our nation and its economy, and it’s imperative for our government to implement policies that make air travel to the United States more attractive in order draw even more visitors to our country,” said Berg. “I am honored to serve on this prestigious board and look forward to working with Sec. Pritzker and my colleagues to further enhance the critical role air travel, tourism and shipping play as key drivers of U.S. job creation and economic growth.”
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. Airlines fly more than 2.2 million passengers and 50,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.
A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor groups, Congress and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.