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June 27, 2014

Stats: GBTA Shares Details on Value of Business Travel

The Global Business Travel Association held its 12th annual Legislative Symposium this Tuesday and Wednesday, promoting the value of business travel to the U.S. economy.

The GBTA Legislative Symposium offers business travel professionals the chance to network with key policy makers and shape policies that facilitate and increase business travel. The two-day event included education sessions on today’s most pressing topics, Congressional speakers, and more than 120 visits with Members of Congress where business travel professionals expressed the industry's opposition to increasing the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) and concerns about TSA's removal of the cap on the 9/11 aviation security fee. 

On Tuesday afternoon, June 24, attendees heard from Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) who is the Republican co-chair of the U.S. Travel & Tourism Caucus. He talked about the importance of travel and tourism and why he supports the JOLT Act and expanding the Visa Waiver Program. Rep. Bilirakis said the goal of the Caucus is to form a national policy that promotes travel to and within the United States. 

During a Tuesday evening reception, Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) told attendees that what he loves about tourism and travel is that it knows no ideology and is one of just a few issues that still enjoys good, deep and broad bipartisan support.

“When we support travel and tourism, we create an economic incentive to take care of what is special about our hometowns,” Senator Schatz said.

On Wednesday morning, Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) thanked attendees for their support of the JOLT Act and encouraged the audience to seek additional sponsors of the bill.

Nearly 100 GBTA members met with individual Senators, Representatives, and key staff on Wednesday. Among the key policy issues discussed were passing the JOLT Act (H.R. 1354) and the INVITE Act (S.2315) to increase international travel to and from the United States, and opposing continued fee increases such as the aviation security fee and PFCs.

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