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U.S. Travel Joins Rep. Joyce for “Travel Works” Power Hour in Gettysburg

May 28, 2024

GETTYSBURG, PA The U.S. Travel Association conducted a “Travel Works for America” Power Hour with U.S. Congressman John Joyce and more than 20 Gettysburg travel and business leaders on Tuesday, May 28, demonstrating the tangible impact that travel has on the local region and businesses.

“Travel is essential to the global competitiveness of the U.S. and is critically important to communities like Gettysburg, which rely on travel to power the economy and workforce,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, U.S. Travel Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy. “We appreciate the opportunity to join Congressman Joyce for a discussion on how Congress can further support the growth of travel to his district and throughout the United States, as well as the leadership of Destination Gettysburg, who were instrumental in bringing us together.”

“Destination Gettysburg was proud to host Congressman John Joyce for an important conversation with our leading tourism stakeholders. Tourism is a vital industry in Gettysburg and Adams County, annually attracting over 3 million visitors, generating more than $735 million in visitor spending, and creating approximately 5,000 jobs,” said Karl Pietrzak, President and CEO of Destination Gettysburg. “Through Congressman Joyce’s efforts, our region benefits from federal support of local tourism, ensuring continued investment in this essential industry.”

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Tuesday’s Power Hour agenda included discussion of critical topics such as the need to lower wait times for U.S. visitor visas – especially for first-time applicants, which exceeds over 400 days on average in key markets – as well as reducing wait times for travelers at U.S. Customs at gateway airports.

Participants also discussed the need to permanently expand the H-2B worker visa program, especially in support of the small and seasonal businesses that depend on temporary workers; the benefits to travelers of innovative facial identity verification technology at TSA airport checkpoints; full funding for the new Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism at the U.S. Department of Commerce; and the importance of Brand USA, the official destination marketing organization for the United States.

The hour-long discussion was followed by a tour for the congressman and participants of the Mansion House 1757, where the Travel Works Power Hour roundtable was held.