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TIA Pushes To Extend Western Hemisphere Travel Deadline

May 18, 2006 By: Peggy Cope Travel Agent

The Travel Business Roundtable and Travel Industry Association of America applauded Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska and Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont for their leadership and support in the successful adoption of a bipartisan amendment to extend the deadline for the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The Stevens-Leahy amendment extends the new travel document requirement deadline from Jan. 1, 2008 until June 1, 2009. On May 17, the U.S. Senate adopted this critical amendment by voice vote as part of the continuing debate and consideration of Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation. Roger Dow, President and CEO of TIA, noted that adoption of the Stevens-Leahy amendment by the Senate accomplished the first step toward extending a deadline that could have deterred travel into the United States and threatened domestic tourism. TIA further noted that although they support enhanced security measures, concerns remain about a Jan. 1, 2008 deadline as a threat to cross-border travel between the U.S. and its neighbors within the Western Hemisphere, particularly Canadian travel to the U.S.

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