In 1971, President Nixon requested a comprehensive study of tourism in America from the National Tourism Resources Review Commission. Two years later, on 28 June 1973, the President met with Chairman Charles S. Thomas to discuss his commission’s findings. In his report entitled “Destination USA, ” Mr. Thomas presented the President with evidence of tourism’s rapid growth as a pastime and industry, as well as its increasingly important role in the US economy. In a statement following his meeting with Mr. Thomas, RN expressed his views on the rise of tourism and on what needed to be done in order to accommodate this growing industry:
“As tourism continues to expand, our parks, lakes, seashores, and forests, as well as facilities for lodging, food, and transportation, will all come under increasing demand. To protect them, and especially our natural resources, we must respond with balanced and farsighted programs.
The current organization of Government resources to cope with American tourism must also be improved. Accordingly, the law that established the Commission directed that a major analysis be undertaken to define the Federal role in tourism.”
Before ending his statement, RN thanked and commended Chairman Thomas for the work done by the National Tourism Resources Review Commission under his direction. President Nixon then closed his statement with the renewal of a universal invitation to visit the United States:
“In a radio address to the Nation last July Fourth, I looked towards America’s Bicentennial celebration and invited the citizens of all countries to come share with Americans in our festivities. I renew that invitation today in light of this report on tourism. As we consider the future of tourism in the United States, it is especially fitting that we not lose sight of the importance of playing host to the world when we honor our rich past.”