WASHINGTON (April 20, 2023)—The U.S. Travel Association today announced recipients of its 2023 Travel Champion award: U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo.
“Travel performs at its best when the private sector and the government work together to achieve common goals, and Senators Rosen and Sullivan and Secretary Raimondo each are credited with tremendous contributions towards this industry’s success,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “Each of our honorees has shown consistent dedication to helping travel grow and thrive.”
Travel is an essential contributor to the U.S. economy, supporting nearly 15 million American jobs and generating $2.6 trillion in total economic impact that benefits communities across the country.
The Travel Champion honor recognizes exceptional leadership in advancing and protecting policies that strengthen travel to and within the United States. The awards were presented this week in conjunction with the association’s Destination Capitol Hill event.
Senator Jacky Rosen: As chair of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade and Export Promotion, Senator Rosen has increased Congressional action on policies that grow and facilitate travel. Senator Rosen played a pivotal role in the enactment of her bipartisan Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act, which established an Assistant Secretary of Travel and Tourism and created the One-Stop Security pilot program. She also advanced top industry priorities, including passage of the Restoring Brand USA Act, establishing a Chief Travel and Tourism Officer at the U.S. Department of Transportation and increasing federal investments in travel infrastructure.
Senator Dan Sullivan: Senator Sullivan introduced the Visit America Act and was a lead cosponsor of the Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act in the Senate, which established an Assistant Secretary of Travel and Tourism within the U.S. Department of Commerce. This critical new position will lead federal policies to grow and facilitate international and domestic travel and serve as a key federal liaison to the industry. Senator Sullivan has also been an active leader in efforts to reduce U.S. visitor visa wait times and provide emergency funding for Brand USA.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo: From her earliest days leading the Commerce Department, Secretary Raimondo engaged the travel industry, sought the input of travel leaders and remains a key voice within the Biden Administration on the economic importance of travel and tourism. The Secretary was instrumental in reopening U.S. borders to international travelers after the COVID-19 health crisis and also championed a new National Travel and Tourism Strategy, including a visitation and spending goal, in consultation with the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.