Frater Urges International Tourism to Improve American Image

Frater Urges International Tourism to Improve American Image
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The president of the Travel Industry Association says tourism is an untapped means of improving America's international image.

"Making America the international destination of choice is good diplomatic policy," Frater Roger Dow (Iota-Rho) said in Washington, D.C., testimony Wednesday (06/12) before the U.S. Department of State's Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

Dow cited a Pew Global Attitudes Project study that finds America's global image slipping even among close allies such as Japan.

"America's image abroad is in crisis right now," Dow said. "At the same time, we have an opportunity to reverse this trend - by welcoming more visitors."

Dow said inbound U.S. tourism has slipped alongside America's image, with the U.S. share of the global travel market dropping 36 percent in 15 years.

"We do little to encourage international travelers to pay us a visit," he said. "Challenging entry requirements give travelers a reason to go somewhere else."

The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy is a bipartisan panel created by Congress and appointed by the President to provide oversight of foreign policy.

Frater Roger Dow is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), a position he assumed on January 1, 2005. With 2,000 organizations as members, TIA is the national, umbrella organization that represents and speaks for all segments of the $600 billion U.S. travel and tourism industry in promoting and facilitating increased travel to and within the United States. TIA is headquartered in Washington, DC with overseas offices in Japan, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.

Prior to TIA Dow rose through the ranks at Marriott International in a career that spanned 34 years. Most recently he was Senior Vice President, Global and Field Sales for Marriott International, leading Marriott's 10,000-person worldwide sales organization.

Roger Dow began his career working summers as a lifeguard at Marriott's sixth hotel. When he left to join TIA, Marriott had over 2,800 hotels and resorts in 69 countries worldwide.

Roger Dow has been the recipient of many awards during his illustrative career including being named by the Convention Industry Council (CIC) to its prestigious Hall of Leaders, being named by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) as one of the industry's top leaders, and being honored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) with its Academy of Leaders Award.

Roger Dow frequently speaks on leadership, sales, marketing, and management at conventions and corporate meetings. He has co-authored two books: TURNED ON -- Eight Vital Insights to Energize Your People, Customers and Profits and THE TRUST IMPERATIVE - The Competitive Advantage of Trust-based Business Relationships. He serves, or has served, on the Board of Directors of ASAE, PCMA, ASAE Foundation, MPI Foundation (Chairman), GWSAE, the Travel Institute, RE/MAX International and on the Advisory Boards of Arizona State University's Center for Services Leadership and the University of Richmond Robins Schools of Business.

Dow served in the United States Army with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam, where he received the Bronze Star and other citations.

A native of New Jersey, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Seton Hall University, where he was senior class president, captain of the varsity wrestling team and Grammateus of Iota-Rho. He was named TKE alumnus of the year in 1991 and was presented with the award by President and fellow Frater Ronald Reagan.

Roger Dow resides in Potomac, Maryland with his wife Linda and two children Blake and Devon.

Adapted from TIA Communications Release and Hospitality Net.

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