From left: The Washington tourism delegation, pictured outside of Sen. Patty Murray's office, includes: Harry Sladich, Red Lion Hotels & U.S. Travel Board; Tom Norwalk, Visit Seattle & U.S. Travel Board; Amy Spain, NTA and Snohomish County; Diane Jaffa; Tom Jaffa, NTA Government Relations Committee; John DeLava, Brand USA // © 2013 NTA
During the recent two-day Destination: Capitol Hill event, more than 300 travel and tourism professionals from the U.S. met with U.S. senators and representatives during the course of several hundred meetings in Washington D.C. The event was organized by the U.S. Travel Association along with NTA, the Southeast Tourism Society and the Destination Marketing Association International.
“Our team visited with every Washington state congressional office, and we are already seeing results,” said Tom Jaffa of Jaffa Travel & Receptive Services in Seattle, who chairs the NTA Government Relations Committee. “In my nearly 20 years of congressional visits on behalf of NTA and our industry, this was one of the best set of visits I have experienced.”
An education segment preceded the meetings, with more than 100 NTA members participating in sessions with elected officials, leaders from federal agencies and tourism associations and seasoned lobbyists, all discussing tourism issues.
“Our congressional leaders learned about the issues we support,” said Patti Culp, executive director of the Alabama Travel Council and recipient of NTA’s James D. Santini Award for long-term commitment to advocacy. “We encouraged them to ramp up their involvement in the implementation of crucial measures.”
NTA’s legislative priorities include increasing tourism by easing restrictions on international travelers, continuing U.S.-inbound marketing efforts and improving the nation’s transportation infrastructure.