U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman issued the following statement on the U.S. Senate passage of six government funding bills, which include funding for the office of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism—following months of persistent advocacy from the U.S. travel industry:

“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.

“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.

“U.S. Travel thanks congressional leaders for funding this key government position. We also urge the Biden administration to immediately fill the role and prioritize the travel economy to benefit American workers and all regions across the United States.”

The Assistant Secretary role was established in 2022 through the passage of the Visit America Act. The position was created to ensure travel issues receive more high-level government focus. The Assistant Secretary is tasked with maximizing travel’s economic potential—including helping communities across the country compete for valuable international visitors, conferences and events. The recently enacted FY24 funding bill bundle removes the last barrier to filling the position.



U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing the $1.3 trillion travel industry, an essential contributor to our nation's economy and success. U.S. Travel produces programs and insights and advocates for policies to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for more information.



Greg Staley

Head of Media Relations

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