Tori Emerson Barnes serves as Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy at the U.S. Travel Association, where she leads the government relations, policy development, communications, marketing and research teams. She was appointed to this role in March 2019 after serving as the association’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations.

Elevating the importance of the travel industry in the trade, commerce and security arenas—including upgrading America’s air travel infrastructure, improving connectivity and growing the future of mobility along with promoting common-sense policies that effectively balance security and travel facilitation—are primary objectives of Barnes and the organization. 

Prior to joining U.S. Travel in November 2017, Barnes was an integral member of General Motors’ federal affairs team for more than fourteen years, playing a crucial role in strengthening GM’s presence on Capitol Hill, leading the company’s tax policy and trade strategies and managing political operations. She most recently served as Executive Director of Federal Affairs, and managed a diverse portfolio that included tax, trade, fuel economy, transportation, pension issues and political operations. Previously, she served as a Congressional Liaison for the Republican National Committee and as Director of Fundraising and Events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s National Capital Chapter.

Barnes is on the board of the Congressional Women’s Softball Game and coaches the Members of Congress team, which plays an annual game against women in the press to raise money for the Young Survival Coalition, an organization that works with young women facing breast cancer.

Barnes graduated from George Mason University, and also attended Miami University of Ohio.

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By Tori Emerson Barnes
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Bills Now in House and Senate to Address Core Travel Priority: Relief for DMOs

June 25, 2020

Bipartisan support is building in both chambers of Congress for an overdue policy step that will be vital for a post-pandemic economic resurgence.

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Relief for DMOs: Understanding Economic Development Administration Grants

June 03, 2020

 In this webinar, epresentatives from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) share additional information about the $1.5 billion for EDA grants provided under the CARES Act. 

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Assessing Uncertainty Through Safety

May 07, 2020

U.S. Travel launched a new webinar series that will take place every Thursday at 12:00 p.m. ET.

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April 28, 2020
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Alejandro Contreras, director of preparedness, communication and coordination at the Small Business Administration (SBA) joined U.S. Travel's government relations team on Tuesday, April 28, for a webinar breaking down relief options that are available for DMOs.


April 10, 2020
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There is important work to be done to make sure travel businesses survive through the height of the pandemic to the eventual recovery phase.

April 09, 2020
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U.S. Travel's government relations team hosted a webinar for DMOs on how to navigate the CARES Act. The webinar is devoted to answering questions received from DMOs, CVBs and state tourism offices about their eligibility and assistance for their organizations and staff.


March 30, 2020
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U.S. Travel's government relations team hosted a webinar detailing what the CARES Act means for the travel industry.


February 28, 2020
Friday Check-In

In this week's Friday Check-In, we have an update on Coronavirus, discuss the latest developments on REAL ID, and preview Destination Capitol Hill.


February 07, 2020
Friday Check-In

In this week’s Friday Check-In, we’ll provide an update on the Coronavirus, take a look back at the State of the Travel Industry address, and discuss movement on improving America's infrastructure.