White House taps 11 ABA members for tourism board

Eleven members of the American Bus Association (ABA) were among the tourism industry professionals appointed by the White House to serve on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

The board advises the Secretary of Commerce on issues affecting foreign visitors to the U.S. including: travel facilitation, visa policy, improving the international travel entry experience, aviation security, energy security, crisis communications and research and data, among other issues.

“It’s fantastic to see so many ABA members represented on this prestigious committee,” said ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS. “This is a great group of leaders from our industry, and they are representative of the diversity of the travel and tourism community.

“As they help to shape the country’s tourism policies in the years ahead, we hope that they will push the administration to implement policies that will bolster domestic as well as international tourism.”

The ABA members named to the panel are:

Todd Davidson, Chief Executive Officer, Travel Oregon

Holly Agra, President, Chicago’s First Lady Tours

Maureen Bausch, Executive Vice President of Business Development, Mall of America Linda Carlisle, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

Elliott Ferguson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Destination DC

Hubert Joly, President and Chief Executive Officer, Carlson Companies

Kathleen Matthews, Executive Vice President, Marriott International

J. Stephen Perry, President and Chief Executive Officer, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

Rossi Ralenkotter, President and Chief Executive Officer, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Ronald Solimon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Inc.and Indian Pueblos Marketing, Inc.

John Sprouls, Chief Executive Officer, Universal Orlando Resort and Executive Vice President, Universal Parks and Resorts

Christopher Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Visit Florida

The American Bus Association is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry with more than 1,000 motorcoach owner and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.