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Industry Briefs
IITA CONTINUES CALLS ON CONGRESS TO ACT ON INTERNATIONAL INBOUND TRAVEL RECOVERY

 

The International Inbound Travel Association (IITA) has been urging Congress to take action that will stimulate the recovery of international inbound travel. This sector was completely shut down when the federal government closed the borders in March 2020, and inbound tour operators' businesses have been down 90-100% for the past year.

IITA continues to call for action from Congress on issues critical to a safe and strong recovery of inbound travel, and that requires a strong travel trade. Advocacy efforts have two primary objectives:

Relief Funds for Inbound Operators via support for the Securing Access for Venue Equity (SAVE) Act (H.R. 2120), which would allow tour operators to apply for SVOG (Shuttered Venue Operator Grants) aid.

Restoring international travel to the U.S by safely opening borders with a clear roadmap and timeline. Recently IITA leadership and several inbound operator owners met with staff in the offices of the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the new Senate Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade and Export Promotion, Senat ors Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Rick Scott (R-FL), respectively. In addition to these meetings, IITA, along with a growing list of supporting inbound operators and other members, sent letters to:

House Committee on Small Business, which will act on the SAVE Act - Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)

Sponsors of the SAVE Act - Reps Mark Amodei (R-NV), Dina Titus (D-NV), Bill Pascrell (D- NJ), Charlie Crist (D-FL)

Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus - Co-Chairs Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Brian Schatz (HI) and Dean Heller (NV)

House Travel and Tourism Caucus - Co-Chairs Dina Titus and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, international arrivals to the U.S. were down 84% overall and 88% from overseas markets. While there is pent-up demand for travel to the U.S., the lead time for planning and producing international travel and tourism business is extensive.


Lisa Simon

Thus, the full recovery of international inbound businesses will take years.

"Inbound tour operators are critical to the recovery of inbound travel. They have a worldwide network of trusted travel trade partners poised to meet the pent-up demands of travelers from all markets, which in turn will drive international business to other travel and hospitality sectors, like hotels and restaurants, throughout the country, said IITA's Executive Director Lisa Simon.

"The SAVE Act (H.R. 2120) provides an existing source of relief funds, but whether it's the SVOG program or other relief and stimulus legislation, inbound operators need financial support to maintain their businesses until inbound travel returns."

The International Inbound Travel Association (IITA) is the nonprofit trade association for international travel to the United States. IITA inbound operators (also known as receptive tour operators) are U.S.-based companies that market and sell U.S. travel products to international travel buyers and provide travel services throughout the U.S. for their groups and FIT travelers. Other IITA members include destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and suppliers (lodging companies, transportation, attractions, restaurants, etc.) from across the country.

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