Delegates from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia took to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for the U.S. Travel Association’s annual legislative fly-in, Destination Capitol Hill.

Delegates held more than 300 meetings with top policymakers to discuss industry priorities to increase global competitiveness, drive economic growth and create and support jobs nationwide.

"This year’s Destination Capitol Hill is all about setting the groundwork for a more globally competitive future for travel,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “The annual event is a significant opportunity to unite the travel industry—from all 50 states—to speak with lawmakers on issues that are vital to our long-term success and growth.”



Travel advocates attend U.S. Travel's Destination Capitol Hill, March 20, 2024.

Top legislative priorities:

Travel advocates shared four key requests in meetings with policymakers:

  1. Lower visitor visa wait times, which average 400 days for top source markets
  2. Lower customs wait times, which can reach up to two hours at peak times at major U.S. airports
  3. Fully fund the office of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism for FY 2025
  4. Advance the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill

New travel impact data:

Delegates were armed with new data on the travel industry’s essential contributions to the U.S. economy and workforce.

  • Travel accounted for $1.3 trillion in direct spending in 2023, which produced an economic footprint of $2.8 trillion.
  • In 2023, travel supported more than 15 million American workers—8 million directly employed by the travel industry.
  • Travel spending generated nearly $165 billion in total tax revenue, including $89 billion in state and local tax revenue in 2023.
  • Travel-generated tax revenue alleviated an average of $1,273 in taxes per U.S. household.


Hundreds of travel advocates from across the United States joined U.S. Travel’s Destination Capitol Hill program ahead of scheduled meetings with U.S. lawmakers. 

During the fly-in event, U.S. Travel awarded Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA)—both serving on the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure—with the association’s Legislator of the Year award

See here to learn more about Destination Capitol Hill.


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

Senior Vice President, Communications

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