In an off-the-record exchange on March 20 at the White House, more than 40 representatives from across the travel industry participated in a briefing from the White House Business Council.
Zane Kerby, president of ASTA, and Eben Peck, ASTA’s vice president of government affairs, were among the attendees. Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben was invited and unable to attend, but that travel group was represented by Mickey Weill, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Protravel International in Los Angeles.
While today’s meeting at the White House was closed to the news media, the briefing served as an opportunity for a cross section of the travel and tourism industry to advise senior White House and Administration officials on how the ease of travel affects businesses across the country and home markets.
The White House travel and tourism briefing convened in the Indian Treaty Room from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Although the meeting was off-the-record, Weill indicated that his initial intent was to discuss ways to better simplify the Global Entry process, as well as underscore the resiliency of the travel agency industry.
“It was an extraordinary honor to receive an invitation to join with colleagues from throughout America’s travel industry at the White House in discussing issues of concern to us all,” Weill noted. “I was also very proud, not only to represent Protravel and Travel Leaders Group at this important meeting, but also to give voice to the greater travel agency community"
Weill said his goal was to ensure that White House and Administration officials recognize the intrinsic and growing contributions that the travel industry and agents make to the U.S.economy.