U.S. Travel Taps Nicole Porter to Boost Political Outreach

The U.S. Travel Association has announced the hiring of Nicole Porter as vice president, political affairs – PAC and grassroots, a newly created position. In her new role, Porter will be responsible for both political fundraising from among the association membership, and for growing the organization’s grassroots program to increase political education and involvement across the travel industry.

Porter was most recently the senior director, political and advocacy affairs at the National Retail Federation. She has also run her own campaign fundraising consulting firm, Porter Group, and was a staffer to former senator John Ensign.

“The COVID pandemic has further underscored the importance of political engagement for the travel industry, as we work to rebuild from the devastation of the past year and reclaim our place as one of the top job-creating sectors in the U.S.,” said U.S. Travel Association executive vice president for public affairs and policy Tori Emerson Barnes in a written statement. “Nicole brings amazing strength and experience to our efforts to connect the travel community with our political leaders. I am thrilled to have her aboard to help tackle the mammoth task of reopening international and business travel, which will be key to the recovery not only of our industry, but the entire U.S. economy.”

Said Porter: “As a native of Las Vegas, I’ve grown up with an awareness of the economic importance of travel and tourism, and an understanding of what the industry needs to thrive. This position and this industry feel like a great natural fit for me, and I’m excited to get to work.”

In recent advocacy work, U.S. Travel took part in a hearing led by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion. Along with other industry representatives, Barnes shared testimony relating to the impact of the global pandemic on the travel economy. At the time, U.S. Travel identified four priorities to restore travel demand, accelerate rehiring in the travel sector and shorten the timeline for recovery.

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