Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive



U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Testifies in Support
of Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act

Urges Expansion of Visa Waiver Program to Simplify Process for
Visitors to the U.S. without Compromising Security

WASHINGTON, DC-  March 28, 2012 – The U.S. Travel Association today announced support for the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security. In his remarks, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, urged codification of a two-week visa processing standard and expansion of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

"The foreign press has had a field day, literally at our expense, by retelling horror stories of foreign visitors unable to come to the United States," said Dow. "The global travel market is booming, for both leisure and business travel. As demand rises, especially in key emerging markets, prospective travelers have choices about their global destinations. Interest in visiting the United States remains strong, but potential visitors are discouraged by real and perceived hassles in our visa process that could be eliminated without compromising security."

The President's recent Executive Order, which committed the State Department to processing 80 percent of all non-immigrant visas within 15 days, devoted some resources to address visa processing. The JOLT Act codifies a two-week standard. Upon enactment, the legislation would require scheduling of the visa interview, the key element of the process, within 15 days; and a year later, the bill would require an interview to be held within 10 days.  This approach sends a clear message that the U.S. remains serious about security safeguards but also seeks to encourage and welcome legitimate visitors.

Additionally, VWP countries are the largest source of inbound travel to the United States.  In 2011, more than 18 million visitors to the U.S. – nearly two-thirds of all overseas visitors – arrived through the VWP.  While here, they spent $69 billion, supported 525,000 American jobs, and generated $13 billion in payroll and $11 billion in government tax revenues.

U.S. Travel is pleased that the Administration has nominated Taiwan for VWP status and believes the Departments of State and Homeland Security should immediately begin bilateral "roadmap" negotiations with countries willing to meet the program's strict security criteria.

Recently, the U.S. Travel Association studied the economic impact of including 11 potential candidates for VWP status.  Expanding the VWP would quickly drive up arrivals from these 11 nations from three million to four million visitors.  This would create enough jobs to operate eight of the largest auto assembly plants in the United States.

"Every potential new VWP visitor from Brazil, Poland and other key markets constitutes a walking economic stimulus package," said Dow.

Dow's oral testimony is available here.

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $1.9 trillion in economic output and supports 14.4 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.  Visit  Follow us on Twitter @ustravel

Cathy Keefe
(202) 408-2183


Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here

Also See: Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Calls for National Agenda to Strengthen Meetings Industry; Commences Term as Chair of the U.S. Travel Association / March 2012

Travel Employment Outpaces Rest of U.S. Economy by 34%; More than Half of the Travel Industry Jobs Lost During Recession Have Been Recovered / March 2012

U.S. Travel Association Launches 2012 Vote Travel Campaign; Plans to have a Significant Presence at the Upcoming Political Party Conventions and Host Nationwide Rallies and Events to Raise Travel Industry Profile / January 2012

U.S. Travel Association Analysis Shows Travel Employment Rebound in December with the Travel Industry Creating Jobs at a Faster Rate than the Rest of the Economy / January 2012

U.S. Travel Association Issues Statement on President Obama's Jobs Speech / September 2011

U.S. Travel Association Discusses Impact of 9/11 on Travel Industry; Releases Principles for Building a More Secure and Efficient U.S. Travel System / August 2011

Analysis of Labor Department Report Shows that the Travel Industry Accounts for More than 1 in 10 Jobs Created in 2011; Travel Jobs Continue to Increase for Eighth Consecutive Month / August 2011

U.S. Travel Association Releases Comprehensive Analysis Proving Tourism Promotion Campaigns Increase Visitation Resulting in More Jobs, State and Local Tax Revenue / July 2011

U.S. Travel Association Releases New Research Results Showing 49% of Travelers Alter Plans Due to High Travel Taxes; Launches Travel Tax Institute / April 2011

Roger Dow, President & CEO of the US Travel Association, Awarded the Spirit of Hospitality Award at Destination & Travel Foundation Dinner / February 2011

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome| Hospitality News |
Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.