Tourism / Visa / Customs / Immigration

Tourism

CalChamber’s Tourism information

Travel and tourism added 7.2 million jobs worldwide in 2015
Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2016

“Economic Impact of Tourism to California”
Visit California, September 2014
A new report commissioned by Visit California can help you explain the value of tourism to opinion leaders in your region. The report explains the economic benefits of tourism in each California Assembly and Senate district.

“Ready for Takeoff”
U.S. Travel Association 2011 Report.

Contacts:

Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
U.S. Department of Commerce

International Travel Information
U.S. Department of State

Discover America Partnership (DAP)
The CalChamber is a member of DAP, a diverse coalition of industries and associations whose work depends on safe and efficient inbound international travel. The DAP is a lobbying and grassroots campaign to advance visa and entry reforms to enable the United States to regain our historical share of the booming world travel market.
www.discoveramericapartnership.org

Visit California

Fall 2016 – The Homeland Security Department is preparing to require additional online security information from Chinese ten-year visa holders.
New Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS)

U.S. Chamber President Calls Launch of Travel Coalition Important Step Toward Visa and Entry Reforms
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, May 11, 2011

Federal Legislation:

“Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014”

The “Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014” would strengthen the United States’ position in the global travel and tourism market by reauthorizing Brand USA, a vital public-private partnership that promotes international travel to the U.S. and at no cost to taxpayers. Since it began operations in 2011, Brand USA has been a successful driver of increased travel and tourism to the U.S., supporting millions of jobs and creating economic growth. In fact, Brand USA’s activities resulted in a $7.4 billion impact on the U.S. economy in fiscal year 2013 according to an Oxford Economics study.

H.R. 4450 – Bilirakis, Representative (R-FL) , Welch, Representative (D-VT) – Introduced April 10, 2014
S. 2250 – Klobuchar, Senator (Democratic Farmer Labor-MN), Blunt, Senator (R-MO)

The Jobs Originated through Launching Travel – JOLT Act addresses key barriers in the visa processing system that deter international business and leisure travel. The House JOLT Act (H.R. 1354) currently has more than 125 cosponsors bipartisan co-sponsors. In a joint February 17, 2014 op-ed piece, the bill’s lead sponsors stressed that bipartisan collaboration on the JOLT Act could yield what everyone says they want: significant U.S. job growth.

Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel Act (JOLT Act) Summary
U.S. Chamber, March 2012

U.S. Chamber Testifies on Job Creating Potential of Travel and Tourism
U.S. Chamber, Mar 27, 2012

On May 29, 2012, the U.S. Chamber sent a letter to the Senate in support of S. 3199, the “Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act of 2012.”

On May 29, 2012, the U.S. Chamber sent a letter to the House in support of H.R. 5741, the “Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act of 2012.”

 

Visa Waiver Program

One of the JOLT Act’s key economic and national security objectives is to expand the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. The Visa Waiver Program currently allows business and leisure travelers from 38 partnering countries to visit the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining a non-immigrant visitor visa. An enhanced Visa Waiver Program would provide necessary updates to the program while also allowing the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to designate additional program countries.

United States Begins Implementation of Changes to the Visa Waiver Program
Joint Statement of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. State Department, January 21, 2016

How the Visa Waiver Program is Keeping America Safe
Steptoe & Johnson LLP, November 2014

FACT SHEET: Supporting American Job Growth And Strengthening Ties By Extending U.S./China Visa Validity
White House, November 10, 2014

Business Leaders Tout Economic Benefits of Passing JOLT Act
Discover America Partnership, June 12, 2014

Chile joins the Visa Waiver Program

On February 28, 2014, Chile became the 38th nation to join the Visa Waiver Program.

Chile is an important partner with the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement implemented on January 1, 2004. According to the U.S. Travel Association, visitors from Chile to the U.S. spent more than $5,000 per trip in 2012.

DHS Announces Chile’s Designation Into the Visa Waiver Program
Department of Homeland Security, February 28, 2014

As of November 1, 2012, people from Taiwan have been able to visit the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. The entry of Taiwan into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program not only supports the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, but it strengthens the nation’s economic partnership with Taiwan by giving more opportunities for the Taiwanese and Americans to do business with one another.

Taiwan’s Entry to Visa Waiver Program Will Boost Travel and Tourism in United States
ITA Blog, November 7, 2012

Expand the Visa Waiver Program
U.S. Travel Association
Additional Information:

S. 2046 Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security and Reform Act
Senator Mikulski’s Press Release on the Introduction of S 2046
January 31, 2012

ECLAC Releases Study on Health Care Reform in the United States and its Effect on Medical Tourism

(posted as informational)

The study “U.S. health care reform and medical tourism opportunities”, prepared by the ECLAC Washington Office, looks at how the comprehensive health care reform legislation passed by the United States Congress in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), could have a significant effect on medical tourism. The report was undertaken within the framework of the Inter-American Development Bank/ECLAC consultancy: “Assessment of the potential effects of health reform on medical tourism”.

Visa:

Council on Foreign Relations
1/26/12 Policy Innovation Memorandum
“Faster, Safer, Smarter: A Modern Visa System for the United States”

Customs

Jan. 2013
Multi-Industry Letter to Director Zients Regarding U.S. Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) Staffing at U.S. Ports of Entry

Immigration

Overview

Immigration has a significant impact on California’s economy, affecting both the labor force and the movement of goods. Both documented and undocumented immigration is expected to account for almost all of the growth in the labor force. However, America’s current immigration system is broken and does not meet the needs of our citizens or businesses.

CalChamber Position

America cannot compete and win in a global economy without attracting and retaining a talented workforce of big dreamers. Immigration reform is one of the compelling challenges of our time.

Read position details in the CalChamber Business Issues Guide summary

dap-logo
Business Groups Urge Congress to Grow International Travel to the U.S.
Discover America Partnership, June 11, 2014

The Discover America Partnership (DAP), of which the California Chamber of Commerce is a member, is a broad-based coalition of travel, hotel, retail, restaurant, professional and business organizations. The DAP launched a renewed push to advance the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act through Congress. The DAP’s advocacy effort will call on Congress to take immediate action to expand the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) through the JOLT Act (H.R. 1354) to help increase international visitation. The campaign launches with issue-advertising on public affairs news websites targeting members of Congress and their staff. If the VWP is extended to strong candidates such as Brazil, Poland , Israel and Croatia through the JOLT Act, the U.S. will take an important step forward in reaching the goal of recapturing its share of international travelers. Expansion of VWP to these and other select countries will add nearly $10 billion to the economy and create nearly 60,000 additional American jobs.

To find out more about this critically important piece of legislation, visit:
www.DiscoverAmericaPartnership.org/JOLTAct