AH&LA urges hospitality industry to take action to JOLT the economy

If passed into law, the "Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act" (H.R. 1354), that has been introduced by U.S. Representatives Joe Heck (R-3rd NV) and Mike Quigley (D-5th IL), 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. The American Hospitality and Lodging Association (AH&LA) is actively supporting the bill and is encouraging members to do the same. 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 home. 

What can I do to support the JOLT Act?
Understand the facts and contact your legislator to express your support. Send an email now to your Representative, or use the talking points below to call and urge him/her to co-sponsor the JOLT Act. Dial +1 (877) 201-9067 to be connected with your Representative. 

To support the JOLT Act, the AH&LA has provided the  following talking points for use in correspondence with your state representatives:  

  • Introduce yourself and indicate your city and state 
  • 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 that will encourage more international visitors to travel to America, as well as do business here
  • Specifically, this 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
    • 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 estimated additional $859 billion into the economy.

  • 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 your representative(s) for his/her support
April 2, 2013
Photo caption:
As the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act is being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives, the American Hotel & Lodging Association is asking members to take action, by making sure legislators understand its importance to the travel industry and the country.