Create or retrieve your password by clicking here

NTA Joins Canadian Partners in Passport Coalition

August 18, 2005

NTA Joins Canadian Partners in Passport Coalition
August 18, 2005 – The National Tour Association has joined with a group of more than 20 travel organizations in challenging the passport requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Chaired by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, the coalition is comprised of other industry association representatives along with many Canadian travel professionals.


The initiative, which was announced by the Department of Homeland Security in April of this year, will require travelers to show passports or "other secure documents" when entering, re-entering or leaving the United States.


The group calls for the postponement of any passport requirements until Jan. 1, 2008, in order to give the tourism industry and travelers time to adapt to the new program. They also are seeking an immediate definition of which "other secure documents" will be accepted in place of passports. The coalition asks for communication of current regulations and the subsequent implementation dates to tourism businesses and travelers, in order to mitigate the short- and long-term challenges presented by the new passport rules.


"NTA is concerned about the negative impact the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative could have on cross-border travel," NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini said. "By taking part in the Passport Coalition, NTA in conjunction with other organizations, will continue to support traveler-friendly government regulations affecting both North American inbound and outbound travel."


The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is a priority issue for NTA’s Government and Industry Relations Department. Last month, NTA sent a letter to the U.S. Department of State Counselor Affairs and to the Department of Homeland Security, in partnership with the Student & Youth Travel Association and the United States Tour Operators Association. In addition to also proposing that the initiative’s implementation be postponed, the letter urged Congress to adopt legislation that would lower passport fees for students and seniors to a maximum of $50.


The National Tour Association has nearly 4,000 tourism professional members from 28 countries involved in the growth and development of the packaged travel industry. Its membership includes tour operators – group, independent, inbound and outbound – and the destinations and suppliers that partner with them. The association is committed to providing business results and information to its members, while offering a collaborative, caring environment in which to build relationships. For more information, please visit



« »