The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry – announced the completion of the annual 2012 GBTA Legislative Symposium in Washington D.C. The GBTA Legislative Symposium offers business travel professionals the chance to network with key policy makers and shape policies that impact the travel marketplace. The two-day event included education on today’s most pressing topics, Congressional speakers, and over a hundred visits with Members of Congress and staff to discuss critical policies to benefit business travel. GBTA was able to educate members of Congress and their staffs about the issues of most importance to business travel industry.
“This year’s legislative symposium was our best yet,” said GBTA Executive Director and COO, Michael W. McCormick. “We were privileged to hear from law makers who are at the forefront of the issues that are of greatest concern to our membership. The GBTA members who joined us did an outstanding job conveying our priorities to the members of Congress and staff that we met with. Our members are our best messengers to discuss the importance of making business travel more efficient to drive economic growth and jobs. Faster, smarter and safer passenger screening; fair taxation and fees; funding for Visa process improvements and expansion of the Visa Waiver Program and faster modernization of the air traffic control system through NextGen are key to the success of the business travel industry and the economy.”
On Monday night, June 18, GBTA members were able to meet with Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus Chairs Rep. Sam Farr (CA-17) and Rep. Joe Bonner (AL-1). Over lunch on Tuesday, June 19th, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, discussed Global Entry and other issues of importance to GBTA. Jessica Lucas-Judy, Assistant Director Homeland Security & Justice Issues, Government Accountability Office (GAO) discussed how the GAO reviews the success of programs like the Transportation Authority’s PreCheck program and the technology used to ensure flyer safety.
Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-4) Chairman of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee discussed the future of trusted traveler programs. Later, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, discussed the importance of improving the United States’ transportation infrastructure and the expansion of NextGen. At a Tuesday evening reception, Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-6), Chief Deputy Whip of the House of Representatives discussed the importance of being educated, engaged, and coming to D.C. to weigh in on issues and concerns.
Other exciting sessions included training sessions on the appropriations process; how to best convey your message to Congress; a review of business travel’s importance to the economy; an update on Democratic Election strategy and a presentation by Jeff Burton, Deputy Director, Republican National Congressional Committee on the RNCC’s electoral strategy.
The event concluded with over ninety GBTA members visiting with over one hundred Congressional offices.