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Jay Rasulo, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Named
the 2008 Inductee into the Travel Industry Hall of Leaders


WASHINGTON, DC (July 17, 2008) Jay Rasulo, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, has been named the 2008 inductee into the Travel Industry Hall of Leaders. 

Rasulo will be honored during a dinner attended by several hundred travel industry leaders October 28th in Portland, Oregon during the Marketing Outlook Forum, an annual industry conference run by the Travel Industry Association (TIA). Distinguished individuals are named to the Hall of Leaders for "sustained, noteworthy contributions that have positively impacted the travel industry, stimulated greater achievement, and raised industry-wide standards."

"Jay was the catalyst that has given us a much bigger voice in Washington," remarked Roger Dow, TIA president and CEO. "He invested time and energy to ensure that policymakers understand the importance of travel economically and as resource for public diplomacy. He exemplifies the leader this award was created to honor."

"The travel industry's significant and pervasive impact on our nation's economy, social and cultural life and international image is understood better today than ever because of Jay Rasulo's unwavering commitment to the industry," said Barbara Richardson, a past national chair of TIA and also the chair of the selection committee. "Over the years, he has worked tirelessly as an advocate for the industry, for those who rely on the industry for their livelihood and for millions of travelers. It is an honor to recognize his commitment and to publicly thank him by inducting him into the Hall of Leaders." 

Rasulo served for two years as national chair of TIA. During that time he called on the industry to create a blueprint for success that would be the equivalent of an Apollo project to improve marketing the U.S. as an international destination and send a more welcoming message to international travelers around the world. He then led the effort to generate that blueprint, which included creation of the Discover America Partnership, an industry coalition aimed at improving international travel to the U.S. 

The Partnership, now part of TIA, has since had a string of public affairs victories, including expansion of the Visa Waiver Program, reform of visa and entry processes, and creation of model airports to improve the arrival process for international visitors. 

Last year Rasulo had Disney produce a multimedia experience which includes a seven-minute video entitled, "Welcome: Portraits of America." The video was donated to the Departments of State and Homeland Security for use at major U.S. international airports, and at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.

Under Rasulo's leadership, TIA also entered a public-private partnership with the U.S. government that created DiscoverAmerica.com, the first-ever official travel and tourism website of the United States, which promotes the country internationally. 

Rasulo will be the 78th travel industry professional inducted into the Travel Industry Hall of Leaders since it was created in 1969. The 2007 inductee was Stephen Holmes, chairman and chief executive officer of Wyndham Worldwide.

The Travel Industry Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $740 billion travel industry. TIA's mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States. TIA is proud to be a partner in travel with American Express. For more information, visit www.tia.org.

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Contact:

 Travel Industry Association
Allen Kay
202-408-2136
akay@tia.org 
1100 New York Ave, NW Ste 450
Washington, DC 20005

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Also See: TIA Chair Rasulo Touts New Long-Range Plan to Reverse Decline in Travel to U.S., Improve America's Image Abroad / February 2007
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