WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), co-chair of the Congressional Tourism Caucus, released the statement below following the U.S. Department of Commerce’s announcement of its new national strategy to revitalize travel and tourism. In March 2021, Klobuchar led a bipartisan group of colleagues in highlighting the need for short-term and long-term strategies to ensure the travel and tourism sector’s full economic recovery.
“Travel and tourism are key to powering economic growth and creating jobs in communities across Minnesota and our country,” said Klobuchar. “I’m glad that the recent national travel and tourism strategy prioritizes many actions I’ve long called for, including supporting Brand USA to promote the U.S. as a travel destination and reducing barriers for international tourists to visit. As more businesses open their doors to visitors and customers from around the world, it’s critical that we remind international travelers of all we have to offer. As co-chair of the Congressional Tourism Caucus, I’m committed to championing travel and tourism across the nation to ensure America remains the best place in the world to visit.”
As co-chair of the Congressional Tourism Caucus, Klobuchar has long led efforts to support the travel and tourism industry. In March 2021, Klobuchar led her bipartisan Congressional Tourism Caucus co-chairs, Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) in urging the Commerce Department to develop strategies that help ensure the travel and tourism industry and workforce can recover from the pandemic. The senators also emphasized the need to provide resources for Brand USA, a public-private partnership that promotes international travel to the United States, and prioritize efforts to boost international tourism.
In March, Klobuchar and Blunt’s bipartisan legislation to provide support for Brand USA was signed into law by President Biden. That same month, she joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in urging the Biden administration to increase the number of available H-2B visas for temporary workers, as these workers are critical to seasonal tourism businesses. In April, she was honored by the U.S Travel Association as its 2022 Travel Champion for her work to boost travel to and within the U.S.
Klobuchar also secured significant federal funding to support Duluth’s travel and tourism sector in March.
At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last September, Klobuchar underscored the need to restore resources for Brand USA to help ease the travel and tourism industry’s economic recovery.
Last April, Klobuchar and Blunt’s bipartisan Protecting Tourism in the United States Act passed the Senate Commerce Committee. This legislation would launch a comprehensive study into the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the travel and tourism industry and identify policy recommendations for assisting the industry.