HONOLULU, Hawaii – In the latest in a series of videos, former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle who is running for a US Senate position, pointed out the glaring weakness in how the federal government approaches the tourism industry by lacking a unified plan or coordinating agency for devising strategies that can help the industry and in turn boost the economy.
When she was Governor of Hawaii, she was the first to create a Cabinet-level position responsible for interfacing with the tourism industry in the state. “Tourism is one of the primary engines that drives Hawaii’s economy. As Maui’s Mayor and later as Hawaii’s Governor, my administrations always gave the visitor industry the attention it deserves, ensuring our strategies for improving and spurring growth for this important sector were coordinated and consistent,” said Gov. Lingle.
Tourism and related businesses such as airlines, rental car companies, retail, and restaurants are of critical importance to the United States as a whole, representing nearly 10 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and employing an estimated 14 million Americans.
With a campaign stressing her commitment to finding practical, common-sense solutions that put Hawaii’s “People First,” Linda Lingle sees in the nation’s tourism industry an opportunity to bring immediate positive impact to the economy.
“If elected Senator, I want to bring this same, sensible approach to the federal level, and serve as the point person for tourism in the US Senate,” Gov. Lingle added, “Tourism is an area where a coordinated approach would reap immediate benefits for Hawaii’s people and the rest of the nation, by stimulating the economy and creating more quality jobs.”
In the issue-focused video, Gov. Lingle cites U.S. Chamber of Commerce statistics that show a return to tourism levels of 2000 would create 1.3 million more jobs for Americans.