Lancer Insurance
Friday, May 24, 2024
U.S. Travel Association

The US Congress is squarely in the middle of negotiations for the next fiscal year, but the passage of six critical funding bills is being heralded as a win for the travel industry by the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) as it provides funding for the office of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism.

This new position was fiercely fought for by the travel industry at a crucial point in the post-COVID recovery and was signed into law through 2022’s Visit America Act. The person in the position will be tasked with helping to prepare US cities to welcome and attract international visitors for business, tourism, and conferences, as well as reduce the visa wait times and maximize economic potential of US tourism.

U.S. Travel AssociationUSTA President & CEO Geoff Freeman

“Funding this critical position is a step in ensuring the long-term global competitiveness of the United States. While other countries are laser-focused on growing their share of global travel, the U.S. has been stuck in neutral—in part due to a lack of a coordinated, whole-of-government approach to increasing travel,” says USTA President & CEO Geoff Freeman “The Assistant Secretary will play a valuable role in coordinating across the government to help innovate travel facilitation and address persistent challenges that stand in the way of growth. This position will also be integral as the U.S. prepares to host significant international events over the next decade—including the World Cup—and compete for a greater share of the global travel market.”

Although this is great news for those specific delayed bills, Congress isn’t out of the woods yet when it comes to funding the next fiscal year. It was reported that House Republican leaders and the White House had finally struck a deal for its last remaining sticking point—funding the Department of Homeland Security—but Congress has several bills to pass before the March 22 deadline.

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