SOUTHLAKE, TX – May 20, 2008 — Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez today announced the addition of Sam Gilliland, chairman and chief executive officer of Sabre Holdings, to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, along with a slate of new and continuing board members who are leaders in major sectors of the industry.
The U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States. The Board, which consists of up to 15 members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, advises the Secretary on government policies and programs that affect the U.S. travel and tourism industry, offers counsel on current and emerging issues, and provides a forum for discussing and proposing solutions to industry-related problems.
“U.S. travel and tourism-related industries annually contribute more than $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy, helping to support more than 8.6 million American jobs,” said Gutierrez. “Last year, the United States set new records for total arrivals and spending, welcoming 56 million international travelers who contributed $122 billion to the U.S. economy. The U.S. Travel and Tourism Board provides support for this valuable and global industry by advising the Department of Commerce on key issues.”
Sam Gilliland has been with Sabre for 20 years and was named president and CEO in 2003. Prior to this role, he served in several senior leadership positions including president and CEO of Travelocity and executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Sabre Holdings.
“It’s an honor to be chosen by Secretary Gutierrez to provide advice to the Administration on travel and tourism policy matters along with a very impressive group of individuals that have each had tremendous impact on the travel industry,” said Gilliland. “I am looking forward to aligning Sabre’s tradition of industry advocacy with this group so that jointly we can foster meaningful collaboration among U.S. industry partners in both the public and private sectors and to developing workable policy solutions that advance the strength and competitiveness of our industry as whole.
To do this, careful attention must be given, among other things, to air traffic control reform, sustainable travel, energy and transportation policy, and travel and tourism taxation relief. I look forward to working with my fellow board members and the Secretary in making a positive contribution to the discussion and resolution of these and other vital issues.”
The announcement of Gilliland’s appointment was made in conjunction with the May 20 meeting of the Advisory Board, which discussed some of the industry’s most pressing infrastructure challenges that have led to traveler dissatisfaction, including travel facilitation, airport congestion, and the industry’s statistical gaps, as well as other challenges.
For more information on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, visit: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/TTAB/TTAB_Home.html, and for a list of the Board’s new members visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/TTAB/TTAB_Members.html.
Sabre Holdings, owned by private equity firms Silver Lake Partners and TPG, connects people with the world’s greatest travel possibilities by retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at http://www.sabre-holdings.com; additional information about Sam Gilliland can be found at http://www.sabre-holdings.com/aboutUs/leadership/GillilandBio.html .