Travel and Tourism

Expanding travel and tourism can and should be a bipartisan priority, and it’s one the U.S. Chamber strongly supports. Travel and tourism already accounts for $888 billion in revenues and 7.9 million American jobs. It could do so much more for our economy if we did a better job of laying out the welcome mat for international travelers. In fact, if we restored our share of the travel market to its 2000 level we could create more than 450,000 jobs by 2020.

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Our Position

We must not overlook the extraordinary benefits of expanding tourism and business travel to the United States. When this travel is unnecessarily impeded, when visitors get frustrated with long visa delays, and when they get hassled at an airport, America’s bottom line takes a beating. And don’t forget, when foreign visitors spend their money here, it’s counted as an export!

We need to broaden visa waiver programs, limit wait times at customs, and implement trusted traveler programs to reduce the hassles without jeopardizing safety. We need to let the world know we want their business, and that means we need to make travel promotion a priority.

The Chamber is:

  • Encouraging Congress and the administration to expand the Visa Waiver Program and address delays, backlogs, and disruptions in our immigration and border management systems that impede the movement of legitimate businesses and tourists traveling across U.S. borders.
  • Supporting “trusted traveler” programs to reduce airport screening delays and encourage and expedite travel for those who pass a rigorous background check.
  • Ensuring the travel and tourism industry, largely populated by small businesses, is not subject to undue taxes and regulations.
  • Urging lawmakers to adequately fund infrastructure to make travel to and within the United States more efficient, quicker, and more hassle-free.
     

America is leaving travel-related jobs and revenues on the table because we’re not laying out the welcome mat for business travelers and tourists. We need to ensure that when tourists are ready to travel and business people are ready to make deals, they come to the greatest travel destination of them all—the United States of America.

Timeline

The latest updates across all U.S. Chamber properties

E.g., 01/23/2017
E.g., 01/23/2017
Letter

These letters regarding the FY17 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill was sent to all Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, to all Members of the House Committee on Appropriations and to all Members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Monday, June 13, 2016 - 5:30pm
Letter

This letter regarding the FY17 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill was sent to all Members of the House Committee on Appropriations.

Monday, June 13, 2016 - 4:45pm
Letter

This letter was sent to the members of the House Homeland Security Committee in support of H.R. 5253, the “Strong Visa Integrity Secures America Act of 2016,” which the Committee is marking up tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 4:00pm
Letter

This letter was sent to the members of the House Judiciary Committee expressing concerns with H.R. 5203, the “Visa Integrity & Security Act of 2016,” which the Committee is marking up this morning.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 9:30am
Letter

This letter regarding the markup of the FY17 Homeland Security Appropriations bill was sent to all Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 8:45am
Letter

This letter was sent to Senators Leahy and Johnson in support of S. 2612, the “Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act of 2016,” which would clarify that any U.S. employee or contractor working in Canada at a preclearance facility who commits a crime may be tried in a U.S. court of law, as opposed to a Canadian court.

Friday, April 8, 2016 - 2:30pm
Letter

This letter supporting H.R. 3477, the “Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act,” was sent to all Members of the House Committee on Natural Resources.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 9:00am