WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Chair of the Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion, held a hearing yesterday examining the Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act of 2021, forthcoming bipartisan legislation being developed that would support the recovery of the travel and tourism economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Witnesses—including Tori Emerson Barnes, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Policy, U.S. Travel Association (USTA); Suzanne Neufang, Chief Executive Officer, Global Business Travel Association (GBTA); Christopher Bidwell, Senior Vice President of Security, Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA); and Chirag Shah, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA)—gave insight into ways the Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act of 2021 can be enhanced to provide the greatest impact for the travel and tourism economy before introducing it to the Commerce Committee.
This hearing follows the recent announcement that the Biden Administration will begin lifting international travel restrictions in November for fully vaccinated individuals.
“Over the past few months, members of this Subcommittee and of the full Commerce Committee have been working together on a bipartisan package of travel and tourism bills, officially called the Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act – or as I prefer to call it, the Tour Bus,” said Senator Rosen. “This comprehensive legislation will support the recovery of the travel and tourism economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and help us build a brighter future for businesses and workers in this key sector for every state in our nation.”
“Since we held our first hearing on the state of the travel and tourism industry in April of this year, there have been some positive trends,” Senator Rosen continued. “On Monday, the Administration announced its intentions to begin lifting travel restrictions in November for fully vaccinated foreign travelers seeking to fly to the U.S. This safe, practical step will provide a much-needed boost to our travel and tourism economy, supporting businesses and workers as we look to turn the corner from the pandemic. Monday’s news is one more sign that the travel and tourism industry appears to be in the process of recovering, but slowly.”
“I was grateful to hear from all of our witnesses about how we can improve the Tour Bus before bringing it before the broader Commerce Committee for a vote and then the Senate floor,” Senator Rosen concluded.