U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue and U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security on the importance of bringing more international travelers to the United States. Dow and Donohue urged lawmakers to better promote the United States and “put a welcome mat back out for visitors,” in order to create jobs.
Donohue highlighted, “the importance of efficient travel policies to conducting international business” and that certain barriers have prevented additional travelers to the US. “With more than 20 million Americans unemployed, the Chamber’s top priority is helping the private sector grow the economy and create jobs,” stated Donohue in his testimony.
Dow knows that the travel industry is ready “to lead our economic recovery” but improving the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and our visa processing system is essential. Dow and Donohue also highlighted the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act, which makes a number of reforms to streamline and expedite the inbound travel process and grow international travel.
Increasing international travel and making it easier for foreign visitors to travel the United States will help the franchise industry continue its proven track record of creating jobs and help franchisees still struggling in a challenging economic environment. Nearly two-thirds of America’s 825,000 franchised businesses support the travel and tourism industry including hotels, restaurants, retail and personal services.
“With more foreign visitors visiting franchised restaurants, staying in franchised hotels and spending money in franchised retail establishments, franchisees will be more likely to hire more workers,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, who serves as a board members of the U.S. Travel Association. The IFA joined the U.S. Travel Association’s Discover America partnership in 2011 to take more aggressive steps to boost the US’s share of the international tourism market.
Posted by Jenna Weisbord, IFA Manager of Communications & Marketing