U.S. Travel Applauds Rep. Webster on Jobs Initiatives

WASHINGTON (February 18, 2014)—The U.S. Travel Association today applauded U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster (FL-10) for his leadership on travel-related initiatives for economic growth.

Topping that agenda is the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act, a bipartisan bill cosponsored by Rep. Webster that would leverage the benefits of international travel to the United States to create jobs and boost tax revenues. The bill is particularly important to the Orlando area, which welcomes nearly four million international tourists annually. Statewide, half of all flights into Florida are from overseas.

The JOLT Act would:
     • Modernize and expand the Visa Waiver Program, which buttresses national security while allowing more travelers from countries closely allied to the United States;
     • Authorize a pilot program to test the feasibility of secure videoconference technology for visa interviews in large countries where U.S. consulates are far apart;
     • Expand the Global Entry Program that allows pre-approved, low-risk international travelers access to an expedited clearance process upon entry into the U.S.; and
     • Reduce visa wait times to facilitate more and easier travel for international visitors.

"The JOLT Act would bring more overseas travelers to the United States, for leisure and business, and generate significant new opportunity in Florida and across the nation," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "Particularly given his strong background in transportation policy, Rep. Webster’s leadership has been critical to our work on this initiative."

The House version of the JOLT Act (H.R. 1354) has thus far drawn the public support of 123 bipartisan cosponsors.

“Every international visitor is a much-needed shot in the arm for our economy, spending thousands of dollars while in the United States,” said Rep. Webster. “More than 200,000 jobs in central Florida are directly related to tourism and it is hard to exaggerate the positive impact of increased international travel to our region. The JOLT Act would address bureaucratic inefficiencies in our visa and entry process that currently discourage prospective foreign visitors.”

Nationally, travel is America's number one services export, supporting one in eight U.S. jobs and generating $2 trillion in economic output last year. Learn more about the JOLT Act here.

Contacts:
Cathy Keefe, (O) 202-408-2183, (C) 703-899-7031
Chris Kennedy, (O) 202-218-3603, (C) 202-465-6635

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The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.0 trillion in economic output and supports 14.6 million jobs. U.S. Travel’s mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit www.ustravel.org. Follow us on Twitter @ustravel.