JOLT Act would create tourism jobs

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2012

The U.S. economy and employment are constantly in the news these days.

Here’s a non-partisan effort that our nation’s travel and tourism industry is backing to help create jobs in the U.S. of A and stimulate spending.

These will be a mix of entry level and mid to upper management positions. Many of these are “green” jobs. I’m very aware of the economic impact of tourism and support this initiative 100 percent.

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I encourage you to consider my suggestions then act accordingly.

Why support this travel and industry initiative? It is simple — job creation and revenue in both the private and public sectors.

Chinese tourists apparently can’t wait to get to the United States. Brazilians and Mexicans, too!

The State Department has announced that it has already processed more than 1 million visas in China this year, a 43 percent increase over the first six months of fiscal 2011.

Since 2004, according to the Commerce Department, the number of visitors from China has increased 438 percent.

Travelers spend money! How much did you plunk at the “beach” this summer? Foreign travelers spend fistfuls of cash and these dollars are turned over in the marketplace and create jobs and tax revenues.

The “Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel (JOLT)” Act” has been introduced by a bipartisan coalition and if passed into law this jobs bill will increase international travel to the United States through much needed reforms to the U.S. visa application and issuance process.

HELP US PASS THE JOLT ACT! In less than five minutes, you can help us create an additional 256,000 American jobs! Call or write your legislators and urge them to cosponsor the JOLT Act.

It is pretty easy to get involved.

Personalize the letter below by inserting your elected official’s then email the letter to the and they’ll deliver it for you.

Email your personalized letter your senators and representatives and ask them to cosponsor/support the JOLT Act. Use this link to locate their email and snail mail address

Dial 877-201-9067 to be patched directly through to your senators and ask them to cosponsor/support the JOLT Act.

Here’s the sample letter that I’ve referred to:

“Dear Senator/Representative:

On behalf of (ASSOCIATION, COMPANY NAME, etc), I urge you to cosponsor [S.3199/H.R.5741], the Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act. Introduced by a bipartisan coalition, this jobs bill will increase international travel to the United States through much needed reforms to the U.S. visa application and issuance process.

Visitors who travel to the United States stay at our hotels, eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores, visit our attractions, and purchase our commercial goods and services.

In 2011, travel exports rose to a record $153 billion, larger than exports of other service industries as well as major manufacturing industries such as machinery, computers and electronic products, and aircraft.

International arrivals around the world are projected to grow by 36 percent from 2010 to 2020, resulting in $2.2 trillion in direct travel spending and generating 62 million jobs.

Accordingly, the United States has recently begun to make significant progress to build upon this momentum the travel industry has sparked for our economy.

Earlier this year, the Department of State committed to increasing its capacity to process visa applicants, especially in the key markets of Brazil and China.

Moreover, the President’s Executive Order 13597 has yielded a comprehensive National Tourism Strategy that lays a sound new foundation for U.S. competitiveness in the global travel market.

In this context, the JOLT Act would significantly accelerate America’s efforts to regain its share of the travel marketplace.

The legislation includes provisions that create a premium visa program, reduce in person interview wait times, altering the requirements for the Visa Waiver Program to allow more countries to qualify, and expanding international registered traveler programs to qualified applicants.

Unlike many other nations, for many years the United States has left this potential revenue on the table.

Therefore, I urge you to help us create more American jobs by cosponsoring [S.3199/H.R.5741], the JOLT Act, a common sense approach to creating jobs and strengthening our economy.

Sincerely, (YOUR NAME)”

I have a vision of a van load of foreign tourists jumping off of I-64 to explore the River Cities and touring some of the attractions of our regions.

Picture them sitting on the deck at the Fuzzy Duck watching the river barges cruise by while enjoying some beans and corn bread.

There are endless possibilities we need to make it easy from them to enter the United States then spend, spend, spend!


Got travel? E-mail Steve Call at the or dial 740.550.9540.