WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), co-chairs of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus, introduced legislation that will help improve the tourism industry across the country by studying the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel and tourism industry and identifying policy recommendations to assist struggling businesses. The Protecting Tourism in the United States Act builds upon Klobuchar and Blunt’s efforts to support the travel and tourism industry and workforce, including securing the reauthorization of Brand USA through 2027. Brand USA is a public-private partnership that enhances tourism and job creation across the country. The program, which was established under the bipartisan Travel Promotion Act of 2009, brings in millions of additional international visitors to the U.S. each year at zero cost to taxpayers.
This month, Klobuchar and Blunt, along with Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND), reintroduced bipartisan legislation to provide economic support for organizations involved in promoting and hosting tourism, travel, or other special events. The Sustaining Tourism Enterprises During the COVID–19 Pandemic (STEP) Act would modify existing Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant programs to provide direct support to the hard-hit tourism and travel industry to promote economic recovery and help increase public confidence as these industries look to reopen safely in the future. These programs help drive local economic development projects, develop new industries, build vital infrastructure, and enhance tourism and travel.