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Sen. Begich Honored as Distinguished Travel Champion




Leadership on Policies to Promote Travel Benefits Alaska, U.S. Economies

WASHINGTON (February 26, 2014)—U.S. Travel Association today bestowed the first annual Distinguished Travel Champion Award on Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska).

Sen. Begich, who joined Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Reps. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Joe Heck (R-Nev.) in receiving the honor, was recognized for his exceptional leadership in enacting and advocating policies that strengthen travel to and across Alaska and the country.

U.S. Travel presented the awards at the association's Destination Capitol Hill-the industry's premier fly-in event for promoting travel-friendly legislation to further boost the industry as one of America's strongest economic sectors.

"Senator Begich clearly sees the benefits of travel, and has a proven track record of advancing America's travel economy by supporting policies that help make travel a major job creator and key driver of economic growth both in Alaska and nationwide," said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. "We are privileged to honor him today, and hope others will follow his lead by supporting the passage of major pro-travel legislative initiatives this year."

With a passion and vision for expanding travel and its attendant benefits for small businesses, tax revenues and job creation, Begich has played an active leadership role since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008. He is a member of the key Senate Appropriations and Commerce Committees as well as chair of the Democratic Steering Committee and co-chair of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus. Senator Begich continues to play a critical role in advancing travel's legislative priorities.

Tourism officials in Alaska echoed the praise for Begich's work on behalf of travel.

"Senator Begich's advocacy on behalf of tourism businesses has opened new opportunities to grow international visitation to the United States and Alaska," said Julie Saupe, President and CEO of Visit Anchorage. "His sponsorship of the Travel Promotion Act, efforts to streamline visa processing for visitors and his work on the Senate's Travel and Tourism Caucus benefit the national and state economies. I am grateful for his support of the travel community and happy to have him among the Alaska lawmakers passionately working to increase visitation to the U.S. and our state."

Click here for more information about the first annual Distinguished Travel Champion Award.

To learn more about Destination Capitol Hill, please visit: www.ustravel.org/events/destination-capitol-hill.

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