WASHINGTON (July 24, 2014) - Travel industry advocates Sam Gilliland of Sabre Corporation and Rossi Ralenkotter of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority have been selected as the 2014 inductees into the U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders. Gilliland and Ralenkotter will be honored during a dinner among more than 100 travel industry leaders during the U.S. Travel winter board meeting on November 19 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce building in Washington, D.C. 

Distinguished individuals are named to the Hall of Leaders maintained by the U.S. Travel Association for "sustained, noteworthy contributions that have positively impacted the travel industry, stimulated greater achievement, and raised industry-wide standards."

"Sam and Rossi have consistently stepped up beyond their leadership for their organizations to engage at the national, state and local levels on behalf of the industry's interests," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "They have volunteered their time to regularly engage with policymakers and other industry leaders to ensure travel is recognized as vital to our economy and well-being. This is well-deserved recognition, and I look forward to joining the rest of the travel community in honoring them."

Gilliland, chairman emeritus for Sabre Corp., not only has led one of the world's largest and most innovative travel technology companies, but has made industry advocacy a major part of his professional life. He has been committed to improving the visa and entry process, building support for Brand USA, promoting risk-based security and fighting human trafficking.

In 2014, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker named Gilliland chairman of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board after he served as vice chairman the previous term. TTAB works with government partners to advance priority issues critical to increasing travel and tourism to the U.S. 

Gilliland also advocated for the industry's interests in his role as a member of U.S. Travel's CEO Roundtable, comprised of select corporate travel leaders. He has also served at the local level on the board of directors for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, and was appointed to serve on President Obama's Management Advisory Board.

Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the LVCVA, last year celebrated his fortieth year at the organization, which has helped Las Vegas to be recognized as among the top iconic destinations in the world. Ralenkotter oversaw creation of the "What Happens Here, Stays Here" campaign, recognized in many quarters as the most famous and effective destination marketing effort of all time.

Ralenkotter was a member of the original White House Conference on Tourism in 1995, also served as chairman of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, and is a former chairman of the U.S. Travel Association. He was instrumental in securing passage of the Travel Promotion Act, which established what is now known as Brand USA, and preserving the SIAT in-flight tourism survey. 

His efforts with U.S. Travel also helped usher in improvements to the visa approval process around the world, expansion of the Visa Waiver Program, and helping policymakers understand the critical value of meetings and conventions. Ralenkotter was the driving force behind U.S. Travel's inaugural Connecting American Through Travel (CATT) conference, a highly publicized gathering of transportation leaders that called attention to the crisis facing travel infrastructure. 

Ralenkotter has been named one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry by Meeting News and was named Co-Brand Marketer of the Year by Brandweek magazine. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Marketing Association, the Travel and Tourism Research Association and Travel Weekly, and was recently inducted into the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Hall of Fame.

With these inductions, 90 travel industry professionals have been inducted into the U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders since it was created in 1969. The 2013 inductees were longtime Disney travel executive Randy Garfield and CityPASS co-founder Mike Gallagher.

About U.S. Travel Association

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 14.9 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. 

Visit www.ustravel.org

Contact: Cathy Keefe

(O) 202-408-2183, (C) 703-899-7031

Contact: Jamie Morris

(O) 202-218-3621, (C) 530-545-9274

Related News

Travel Community Decries Attacks on Security Value of Visa Waiver Program

Travel Priorities Abound in House Highway Bill

Travel Leaders Laud Surface Transportation Bill

Travel Community Lauds Senate Introduction of Bipartisan JOLT Act

Shutdown Would Cost U.S. Travel Economy At Least $185M per Day

Labor Day Travelers Projected to Spend $13.5 Billion

U.S. Travel Association Names Minnesota's John Edman Natl. State Tourism Director of the Year, 2015

Travel Employment Reaches New Record High in July 2015

Fix Aviation Infrastructure, Cut Taxes on Flyers, Travel Leaders Urge

U.S. Travel Alarmed by Airfare Collusion Allegation

National Travel Leaders: Keep 'Choose Chicago' Funded

Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson Named U.S. Travel National Chair

U.S. Travel Community Urges Congress to Reauthorize Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) By Year-End

South Dakota Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen Named State Tourism Director of the Year

New Orleans to Host IPW 2016

Travel Community Criticizes TSA Fee Hike

Survey Shows Washington Must Address Failing Infrastructure to Avoid Economic Harm

U.S. Travel Tells Senate Renewal of Brand USA and JOLT Act Passage would Add $200 B to U.S. Economy

Travel Employment Sets Another Record High; Outpaces Other Sectors by 49%

U.S. Travel's 2014 IPW Hosts Largest Number of Travel Buyers in More Than a Decade

Flight Cancellations from Latest Storm Cost Economy $95 Million

Travel Industry Accounts for 25% of Overall U.S. Export Growth in 2013

Travel Job Recovery Strong in 2013; Industry Nears Pre-recession Employment at Only 5,000 Jobs Short

Mike Gallagher of CityPASS & Disney's Randy Garfield Named to U.S. Travel Assoc. Hall of Leaders

Thanksgiving-like Passenger Congestion to be Year-Round Norm without Major Infrastructure Investment

U.S. Travel Co-Sponsors Fly-In to Call for Immediate Action on Immigration Reform

Government Shutdown Costs U.S. Travel Economy $152 Million Per Day

America's Travel Community Tells Their Shutdown Stories

Tennessean Susan Whitaker Named State Tourism Director of the Year by the U.S. Travel Association

GSA Act Inadvertently Reduces Federal Efficiency and Productivity; U.S. Travel Association Statement

All News »

Please login or register to post a comment.