Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Secretary Salazar to Host Town Hall at Independence Hall to Discuss Travel and Tourism

Will celebrate 40th Anniversary of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention which draws visitors from around the globe to Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Mar. 15, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis will host a town hall meeting at Independence National Historical Park to discuss how to boost travel and tourism as a means to strengthen local economies and create jobs in Philadelphia.

Secretary Salazar and Director Jarvis will join Congressman Chaka Fattah and Irina Bokova, the Director General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), who is visiting Independence Hall to mark the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. The World Heritage Convention, the international treaty that established the World Heritage List, seeks to recognize and protect unique places around the world for future generations, such as the Pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, the Acropolis in Greece and the Grand Canyon.

As one of only eight U.N.-designated cultural World Heritage sites in the United States, Independence Hall draws more than 3.7 million visitors each year, generates $146 million in economic activity and supports more than 2,100 jobs. Independence National Historical Park is one of 18 National Parks in Pennsylvania that serve as premier destinations for international tourists to explore our nation’s cultural heritage.

In January, President Obama directed his administration to create a new national tourism strategy focused on creating jobs by becoming even more welcoming to guests from here at home and from all over the globe. As part of this initiative, Secretary Salazar and Secretary of Commerce John Bryson are working to develop recommendations for a National Travel and Tourism Strategy to promote domestic and international travel opportunities throughout the United States, thereby expanding job creation, with a particular focus on strategies for increasing tourism and recreation jobs by promoting visits to our national treasures, such as Independence Hall.

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