Urge Your Representative to
Cosponsor the JOLT Act
ABOUT THE BILL: Introduced by Representatives Joe Heck
(R-3rd NV) and Mike Quigley (D-5th IL) the "Jobs Originated Through
Launching Travel (JOLT) Act" (H.R. 1354) would reform the Visa
Waiver Program to allow more countries to qualify, expand the
Global Entry Program to expedite the clearance process for low-risk
international travelers and develop a pilot program for premium
processing of visas in exchange for a higher fee while setting
specific goals for visa processing. Download
the fact sheet to learn more.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: International arrivals around the world are
projected to grow by 34 percent from 2010 to 2020, resulting in
$1.6 trillion in direct travel spending. This presents an
enormous opportunity for nations that choose to embrace it. The
U.S. stands to lose out on this opportunity unless we reform our
visa process and remove the barriers to legitimate visitors that
wish to visit our country, spend their money here, and then return
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Send an email now to your Representative, or use the call
script below to call and urge him/her to cosponsor the JOLT Act.
Dial 1-877-201-9067 to be connected with your
**Introduce yourself and where you are from.
• I am calling to urge Representative ___ to cosponsor
H.R. 1354, the JOLT Act.
• The JOLT Act is a bipartisan jobs bill, introduced by
Representatives Quigley and Heck, which will encourage more
international visitors to travel to America as well as do business
• Specifically, the legislation would create a premium
visa program, reduce in person interview wait times, facilitate the
use of videoconferencing to conduct visa interviews, alter the
requirements for a country's entrance into the Visa Waiver Program
to allow more countries to qualify and expand international
registered traveler programs to qualified applicants.
• When international visitors travel to the United States,
they inject new money into the U.S. economy by staying in hotels,
spending in stores, visiting attractions and eating at restaurants.
In many cases, they are also here to conduct business by
inspecting products they are purchasing, attending meetings and
negotiating business contracts.
• America is losing out to its global competitors on
millions of international visitors by making it unnecessarily
difficult or, in many cases financially impossible, for people to
visit the U.S.
• Recapturing America's historic share of worldwide
overseas travel would create up to an additional 1.3 million U.S.
jobs by 2020 and pump an additional $859 billion into the
• H.R. 1354, the JOLT Act is a common sense approach to
creating jobs and strengthening our economy, and so I encourage
Representative ___ to cosponsor it.
• Thank you.
Dear U.S. Travel Member:
I am writing to inform you of an important opportunity to
protect the travel industry. On December 26, 2012, the General
Services Administration (GSA) announced it would form a
Government-wide Travel Advisory Committee (GTAC) of industry
experts to recommend changes to federal travel policies. At a time
when Washington continues to pursue across-the-board cuts to travel
budgets, the GTAC provides a unique chance to advocate for more
sensible travel policies that protect taxpayer dollars and the
GSA is seeking representatives from hoteliers, rental car
companies, airlines, travel and lodging associations, convention
and visitors bureaus, and state and local governments to
participate on the GTAC. We strongly urge you or appropriate
members of your organization to apply.
The deadline is quickly approaching. All applications or
nominations must be received by GSA no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on
More information on the GTAC application process is below and
the official GSA announcement can be found here. If you have questions regarding this
committee or how to participate, please contact Erik Hansen, U.S.
Travel's director of domestic policy, at email@example.com or
Roger J. Dow
President and CEO
click here for more information about the
Dear Power of Travel Coalition Member:
As we head into Labor Day weekend to celebrate
the contributions of American workers, let's make sure that elected
officials know that travel jobs truly are the key to our nation's
communities nationwide, provides opportunity to the unemployed and
increases global competitiveness, as highlighted in the Travel Means Jobs
report released this past weekend by U.S. Travel Association. If
supported by policies that allow the industry to thrive, travel can
drive our nation's recovery and put Americans back to work.
Help us communicate
the importance of travel jobs with the media and elected officials.
Utilize the new Travel Means
Jobs Toolkit - which includes a sample op-ed, sample letter to
elected officials, and charts and graphics - to help tell the story
in your area.
Travel can lead a path
to future prosperity. You know it, and I know it. Let's make sure
our elected leaders know it, too.
U.S. Travel Association
Stronger: The Power of Travel Coalition is an initiative of the
U.S.Travel Association to engage the more than 14 million people
whose jobs rely on travel to become travel advocates. For more
information and to join the Coalition, visit www.travelcoalition.org.
Be Social. Join
Dear Travel Colleague:
In June, we notified you that the federal government was
considering changes to the federal per diem rates that would reduce
the rates by upwards of 30 percent in major travel markets. You
responded quickly and effectively by contacting Congress and
regional GSA administrators, educating them about the detrimental
impact this would have on our industry.
Your advocacy efforts were successful.
Yesterday, we learned that the GSA will not alter its method for
calculating lodging per diems, which could have cost the industry
$885 million in revenue and thousands of American jobs. Instead,
the GSA decided to freeze lodging per diem rates at current levels
for the upcoming fiscal year.
Given the negative attention surrounding federal conferences, a
contentious political environment and a shrinking federal budget,
freezing per diem rates is a sensible policy decision that
minimizes economic impact on travel and protects taxpayer dollars
during these tight fiscal times.
This decision was reached because many industry leaders sent a
clear message that travel is an essential tool for the government
and is critical to local economies. The per diem debate
provides a valuable lesson on what we can accomplish when we speak
with one voice. From streamlined visa policies, to
improvements in aviation, to developing smart and responsible
government travel practices, the unified voice of our industry is
being heard as never before in Washington, D.C.
Thank you for your efforts.
U.S. Travel Association
Dear Travel Colleague:
U.S. Travel continues to fight efforts by the federal government
to enact across-the-board cuts to travel budgets. U.S. Travel
recently learned that the General Services Administration (GSA) is
considering a drastic reduction in the federal lodging per diem as
part of its efforts to cut travel. One proposal under serious
consideration would reduce per diem rates in major travel markets
by upwards of 30 percent.
Today, U.S. Travel sent a letter to the acting administrator of the GSA
informing him that reducing the federal lodging per diem rate will
impact its ability to provide services to the taxpayer and result
in significant job losses in the lodging industry. Written in
cooperation with the American Hotel & Lodging Association and
other travel-related associations, the letter notes that a drastic
drop in the per diem rate would:
- Severely limit the number of hotels available to federal
travelers, making it harder to find lodging close to places of
business, increasing transportation expenses, and making federal
travel less efficient; and
- Lead to a loss of $750 million in lodging revenue, and result
in American job losses of between 28,000 and 35,000 workers,
according to lodging industry estimates.
U.S. Travel will continue to meet with GSA officials and members
of the Administration to prevent a drastic change to the per diem
rate. We will also continue to generate letters opposing a per diem
change from travel champions on Capitol Hill, and engage the media
to tell the story of why travel matters to the federal government,
the taxpayer and local economies.
I'll keep you informed of further developments.
Roger J. Dow
President and CEO