US Travel launches effort to build Capitol Hill allies

WASHINGTON: The US Travel Association is launching "Travel Blitz," a nationwide grassroots initiative that aims to build and develop relationships with members of Congress so they champion travel.

WASHINGTON: The US Travel Association is launching “Travel Blitz,” a nationwide grassroots initiative that aims to build and develop relationships with members of Congress so they champion travel.

The initiative differs from others launched by the trade group in that it will be led by its members and their employees.

US Travel has developed a toolkit that features industry stats, talking points, and guidelines for building relationships so that members will be empowered to reach out to their Congressmen on their own.

The trade group hopes that members will be encouraged to host in-district roundtables, meetings, and back-of-house industry tours at locations like convention and meeting facilities, hotels, and other attractions for members of Congress and their staff.

The goal is for Congressmen to witness first-hand the investment and training that goes into building the travel industry's workforce, as well as the impact that travel events have on local economies.

“The travel industry has found that face-to-face meetings are the best way to communicate with members of Congress,” said Candice Knezevic, director of grassroots and industry relations at the US Travel Association.

Knezevic and Michael Jacobson, manager of the political action committee and grassroots advocacy at the trade group, will serve as “coaches” as its members launch their efforts.

The main office will support its members by using its social media channels to promote the progress of the initiative, as well as to highlight what lawmakers are doing that will have an impact on the travel industry.

US Travel's priorities include visa reform, customs and entry issues, and transportation and infrastructure requirements to meet forecasted travel demand.

Last month, US Travel launched “Travel Effect” a consumer-facing campaign to convey the “effects” of travel from the medicinal, romantic, and financial perspectives.

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