The exhibitions industry relies heavily on America’s travel sector. From hotels, cars and transportation services, airlines and more, these channels of movement make it possible for people to get to and from events around the country and the world, allowing businesses and economies to continue to flourish.
As such, bipartisan travel legislation is an ongoing topic at Exhibitions Day. This year, several bills will be addressed with our nation’s leaders, including: Online Booking Scams (R. 2495 and S. 1164), H.R. 1996: Secure Travel Partnership Act of 2019, and the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act of 2019 (H.R. 2187). These bills provide critical updates to outdated systems to help the American economy regain market share of international travel.
Stop Online Booking Scams Act (R. 2495 and S. 1164)
Upwards of 15 million fraudulent online bookings scams happen each year, resulting in more than $1.3 billion in lost revenue for hotels and money from consumers. R. 2495 and S. 1164 were first introduced in 2017 and will prohibit websites from pretending to be the hotel and allow state attorneys general to pursue restitution and refunds on behalf of the victims.
H.R. 1996: Secure Travel Partnership Act of 2019
This piece of legislation is focused on amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to rename the current Visa Waiver Program as the Secure Travel Partnership. The program, which is administered by the Department of Homeland Security and allows prescreened citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a visa, will rebrand to better welcome visitors and express our country’s commitment to safe and secure travel.
Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act of 2019 (H.R. 2187)
Other iterations of the JOLT Act have been introduced in previous Congresses, but the bill has always focused on increasing international tourism. The current bill includes changes and enhancements to support travel ease and security such as: renaming of the Visa Waiver Program to the Secure Travel Partnership Program, extending the visitation period for Canada, setting a goal for non-immigrant visa reviews within 15 days, developing and conducting a pilot program to enhance existing procedures for processing visas by utilizing videoconference technology, better coordination between the visa waiver process and Global Entry program, and more.
Next week, we’ll look at what’s behind Investing in America’s Infrastructure. For more information on Exhibitions Day and the $97B B2B events industry, check out the 2019 Exhibitions Day webpage.