NEWS RELEASE: Visit U.S. Coalition Applauds Introduction of the JOLT Act

Jobs Created from Launching Travel Act will strengthen the economy, national security

Washington – Today, the Visit U.S. Coalition applauded the introduction of the JOLT Act. This legislation will promote international travel to the U.S., creating economic activity and bolstering job creation. By creating, updating, and streamlining existing programs, the JOLT Act will encourage secure travel to America.

The JOLT Act was introduced by Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Tom Rice (R-S.C.).

“Welcoming international travelers to American shores has undeniable benefits – from boosting the economy with spending at hotels, restaurants, and retail stores, to showing the world what makes America great,” said Visit U.S. Coalition spokesperson Andrea Riccio. “The JOLT Act will ensure that the U.S. can realize the economic benefits of international travel.”

Each overseas traveler spends approximately $4,200 when they visit the U.S., directly supporting 1.2 million jobs and $33.7 billion in wages. By inviting international travelers to the U.S. through improved processes, we will give a jolt to American businesses.

The JOLT Act will:

  • Strengthen visa processing by setting timely goals for applicants;
  • Create a pilot program at the State Department to utilize videoconferencing technology for applicants who lack easy access to U.S. embassies;
  • Rename the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) the Secure Travel Partnership to more accurately reflect the realities of security and travel facilitation within the program;
  • Modify the VWP to prevent overstays, and increase the ability of secure countries to participate;
  • Increase the ability of Canadians to stay up to 240 days per year;
  • Improve coordination between the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department.

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The Visit U.S. Coalition represents a broad cross-section of industries that have come together to address the decline in international travelers to the U.S. and resulting opportunity cost to the U.S. economy and jobs.