NTA Escalates Advocacy Efforts for 2015
February 17, 2015
Advocacy comes natural to the National Tour Association. Founded in 1951 by tour operators seeking relief from laws and regulations that impeded their business, NTA is escalating its advocacy efforts in 2015.
“Because our members have so much riding on government travel- and tourism-related policies, budgets and legislation, NTA puts an extraordinary emphasis on advocacy,” said Pam Inman, NTA president. “And this year we have new opportunities to advance issues that are important to our members.”
A major addition to NTA’s advocacy program is Janine Smith, who recently became the association’s registered lobbyist in Washington, D.C. An attorney and public policy expert, Smith will advocate for legislation and policies that support NTA members and the tourism industry. She will regularly meet with members of Congress and their staff, interact with regulatory agencies and attend Congressional committee hearings on NTA’s behalf. Smith will be in frequent communication with NTA leaders and members, providing updates and gathering feedback.
“My job is to be the eyes, ears and voice of NTA members in our nation’s capital,” Smith said. “Legislators are truly eager to help the people they serve, but they often need reminding exactly what service is needed.”
Inman, too, will maintain a regular presence in Washington. By splitting her time between here and Lexington, Ky., where NTA is headquartered, Inman will be able to engage legislators on Capitol Hill and attend key industry meetings.
Inman and Smith will spearhead NTA’s advocacy efforts, focused on four issues:
- Funding infrastructure repair and modernization
- Reinforcing and expanding the Visa Waiver Program
- Expanding funding for and access to the U.S. National Park System in preparation for the agency’s centennial celebration in 2016
- Expanding travel to Cuba
NTA members will have a chance to discuss these and other industry issues March 25 and 26 during Destination Capitol Hill, a coordinated legislative advocacy program conducted jointly with the U.S. Travel Association and Destination Marketing Association International.
“Destination Capitol Hill is where government relations comes to life for NTA members,” Inman said. “After getting thoroughly briefed on the issues and the lobbying process, we’ll meet face to face with elected officials and their staff. Members of Congress can hear from people inside the industry how travel and tourism affects them, their customers and their communities.”
NTA is the leading association for packaged-travel professionals (representing more than 40 countries) interested in the North American market—inbound, outbound and within the continent. For more information, visit NTAonline.com.