All events and sessions will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the Mayflower Hotel, unless otherwise noted. Schedule and times are extremely likely to change prior to event, depending on Congressional schedules. (Updated March, 12 2018)

Special Notice - Capitol Hill Visits 

To maximize our impact on Capitol Hill during this event, U.S. Travel will schedule all appointments with your congressional delegation. A representative from our scheduling firm, Soapbox Consulting, will contact delegates beginning in early February for a brief phone interview to collect the necessary information to coordinate these visits. To minimize confusion, please do not schedule your own congressional appointments.

Wednesday, March 21

12:00–6:00 p.m. | Registration and Distribution of Updated Capitol Hill Appointment Schedules and Information Packets

Promenade Foyer

1:00 p.m. | Welcome

Michael Jacobson, Senior Director, Industry Relations and Political Engagement, U.S. Travel Association

1:05 p.m. | Keynote Address

Chief political anchor for FOX News and host of the #1 cable news program in America, highly acclaimed journalist Bret Baier offers a behind-the-scenes nonpartisan analysis of the Trump Administration, the political leaders and issues influencing policy.

Bret Baier, Chief Political Anchor, Fox News Channel

2:00 p.m. | Travel Industry Update

Roger Dow, President and CEO, U.S. Travel Association

2:10 p.m. | Capitalizing on America's Vacation Opportunity for Your Destination

America’s 600 million unused vacation days represent a massive economic opportunity for destinations across the country. Learn what increases in domestic leisure travel could mean for job creation and economic growth in your area and how to leverage this in justifying tourism promotion budgets.

Katie Denis, Vice President, Project: Time Off

2:20 p.m. | Sponsor Remarks: NTA
2:25 p.m. | Panel Discussion: Drilling Down on the Issues

U.S. Travel’s leading government relations experts provide the latest intelligence and key messages on the issues delegates will discuss in their Congressional meetings on Capitol Hill.

  • ModeratorTori Barnes, Senior Vice President, Government Relations
  • Reversing the Decline in International Travel: Patricia Rojas-Ungár, Vice President, Public Affairs
  • Travel Infrastructure, Airport Modernization and Open Skies: Erik Hansen, Vice President, Government Relations
2:55 p.m. | Sponsor Remarks: Pew Charitable Trusts
3:00 p.m. | Break
3:25 p.m. | Sponsor Remarks: Destinations International
3:30 p.m. | Creating an Integrated Advocacy Campaign

Influencing elected officials is very different than it was 25 years ago. Technology, culture and partisanship all combine to make winning policy fights harder than ever before. Hear how to effectively combine various components of an advocacy campaign including lobbying, grassroots and communications strategies. 

Bruce Mehlman, Founder, Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas

4:00 p.m. | Capitol Hill Preparation

This is your chance to ask any questions about your schedule or the flow of the legislative meetings on Thursday. Soapbox Consulting will provide last-minute tips for your Congressional meetings and you will have a chance to meet with others from your state delegation to coordinate with those who will attend the meetings with you.

Presented by Soapbox Consulting

4:20 p.m. | Sponsor Remarks: Greater Ft. Lauderdale CVB
4:25 p.m. | Grassroots Travel Champion Award Presentation

2018 Recipient: Enterprise Holdings

Michael Jacobson, Senior Director, Industry Relations and Political Engagement, U.S. Travel Association

4:30 p.m. | Money Ball, Meet Washington

“Money ball” has officially arrived in Washington. When it comes to influencing policy, organizations are now managing data far more seamlessly and effectively. Believe it or not, data can now tell us the likelihood of a bill passing Congress and being signed by the President.

Learn how data is changing Washington and how analytics can help develop better strategies to advocate on our top issues.

Alex Wirth, Co-Founder and CEO, Quorum

5:00–6:00 p.m. | Networking Reception

Mayflower Hotel


Thursday, March 22

7:00–8:30 a.m. | Distribution of Updated Capitol Hill Appointment Schedules and Information Packets (last chance for pickup)

Promenade Foyer

7:00–8:30 a.m. | Networking Breakfast
7:00 a.m. | Issue Crash Course

Miss Tuesday’s program or still unclear about the issues you’ll be discussing during your Congressional appointments? U.S. Travel staff will be on hand to answer any questions before participants leave for Capitol Hill.

7:45 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. | Shuttle departures to Capitol Hill

Shuttles will depart from the gift shop exit off of the main lobby.

NOTE: If you have appointments scheduled to begin prior to 9:00 a.m. we suggest you consider taking a taxi to Capitol Hill, as traffic congestion and long security lines at Congressional office buildings may cause delays for shuttle bus riders.

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. | Meetings on Capitol Hill