GBTA Supports Visa Waiver and Trusted Traveler Programs

Adding its voice to the chorus of approval, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) announced its support of the National Tourism and Travel Strategy (NTTS) presented to President Barack Obama by the Task Force on Travel and Competitiveness. The goal is to increase travel and tourism to the United States to 100 million visitors annually by 2021.

GBTA said it strongly supports the Task Force’s strategy to emphasize travel and tourism as a government priority and the policies in the NTTS that recognize the importance of business travel as a major driver of the economy and job creation.

“The National Tourism and Travel Strategy incorporates many of the suggestions GBTA made in submitted comments earlier this year,” said Michael W. McCormick, executive director and COO of GBTA.

“GBTA supports policies to increase international travel to the U.S. – and this strategy does just that. GBTA focus on the policies that impact the business traveler, such as visa process improvements and expanding visa waiver program, trusted traveler programs and the critical investments desperately needed to improve our aviation infrastructure,” McCormick said.

“Recent moves by the Obama Administration have demonstrated the President’s commitment to increasing travel. The expansion of the Transportation Security Administration’s Pre-Check Program, the decision to make Global Entry permanent and the calls to speed up the implementation of NextGen are all signs of how important travel is to the economy,” McCormick continued.

“We are particularly pleased to see the positive steps the NTTS outlines to expedite the visa process for travelers from Brazil. Adding staff, shortening wait times and improving the speed with which a visa can be obtained will facilitate far more business travelers from Brazil, an important trading partner, coming to the U.S."

"We hope to see the expansion of reciprocal trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry and Pre-Check which will improve the efficiency of traveling for low-risk, high-volume business travelers. Business travel is a key driver of the economy with more than one-in-five travelers to the U.S. traveling for business and this strategy appears to have recognized how vital it is to the economy,” McCormick concluded.

GBTA has 5,000-plus members who manage over $340 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually.