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NTA Sees Action on Visa Issue

May 21, 2011


NTA Sees Action on Visa Issue

San Francisco (May 21, 2011)(distributed at Pow Wow)—As NTA’s public affairs advocate, Steve Richer keeps a running list of legislative issues important to association members. These days, it’s the list that’s keeping Richer running.

"We’ve had a busy spring," Richer said from his Washington, D.C., office. "We just concluded a successful event, the Grassroots Congressional Summit for Travel, where our members had a chance to meet on Capitol Hill with members of Congress. Summit attendees also joined the news conference concerning one of our top issues: changes to the visa process."

Richer said NTA has long advocated streamlining the visa application process. "If we can make it simpler and faster for international travelers to obtain a visa to visit the U.S., we’ll see more travelers in this country," he said. "It can take up to four months for someone in China to get a visa. That hurts inbound travel."

NTA is leading the effort to bring more tourists from China to the Unites States. The association worked with The U.S. Department of Commerce to open the NTA Visit USA Center last fall in Shanghai. Through the center, NTA helps connect U.S. tour operators with Chinese travel agencies-and the rapidly expanding outbound overseas market.

Another way NTA is working to support U.S. travel and tourism is through legislation that will help U.S. communities promote tourism using federal grants. Called the Travel Regional Investment Partnership Act, it is set for a major update, Richer said.

"A TRIP Act announcement is imminent," he said. "We’re about to learn how our cities-and towns and destinations-can get more financial help in promoting themselves."

Other items on NTA’s list of legislative and policy issues include improving travel between the U.S. and its neighbors: Canada, Mexico, Latin America and Cuba. Just last month, the Obama administration further cleared the path for purposeful travel to Cuba.

About NTA: Now celebrating its 60th year, NTA is the leading association for professionals serving travelers to, from and within North America. Formerly the National Tour Association, the association became NTA when its global membership (more than 40 countries) and focus exceeded its name. Today NTA helps its diverse membership expand market reach with innovative business tools, strategic relationships and collaboration within the industry. For more information, visit


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