U.S. Travel Association Senior Vice President for Government Relations Tori Barnes issued a statement on the introduction of the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act of 2018, which would update and strengthen numerous programs related to the efficiency and volume of international inbound travel:
“International inbound travel is crucial to U.S. job growth—1.2 million jobs across America are directly supported by this segment of travel. But our potential to grow that number—and regain and increase our share of the global travel market—is only as strong as the policies that we have in place.
“The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is one of the most important programs the U.S. can leverage in expanding international inbound visitation and enhancing our national security: seven of the top 10 largest source markets to the U.S. are VWP countries. The adjustments to the VWP outlined in the JOLT Act—which include its renaming to the Secure Travel Partnership Program to better reflect its dual purpose as both a security program and a means of travel facilitation—will expand U.S. job growth while further strengthening our national security.
“This legislation—which additionally provides improvements to the visa interview process, extends Canadian visitation limits and encourages growth of the Global Entry Program—will not only benefit U.S. job growth, but will help facilitate and welcome travel to America for millions of qualified visitors. Now more than ever, the U.S. must work to regain its declining share of the global travel market, and the provisions of the JOLT Act will help give us a competitive edge.
“We commend the cosponsors of the JOLT Act for embracing the vital role that travel plays in supporting American job growth, and we look forward to working with Congress towards the passage of this important legislation.”
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. In 2020, travel generated $1.5 trillion in economic output and supported 11 million jobs, a drastic decline from pre-pandemic figures. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.