US Travel Association honors Heller, Schatz, Jolly, Titus, McAleenan with Travel Champion Awards

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WASHINGTON, DC – The US Travel Association on Wednesday announced the recipients of the third annual Distinguished Travel Champion Award: Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nevada), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i), Rep. David Jolly (R-Florida), Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nevada) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. Each is honored for their exceptional leadership in advancing policies that strengthen travel to and across America.

U.S. Travel will present the awards on March 16 at the association’s Destination Capitol Hill—the travel and tourism industry’s premier fly-in event dedicated to educating policymakers about the power of travel, providing a forum for travel leaders to meet with members of Congress in Washington and showcasing the industry as one of America’s strongest economic sectors.

“These Travel Champions know the vital role our industry plays in America’s economic health, and have gone above and beyond in their support of travel,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “The leaders we will recognize this year at Destination Capitol Hill have proven their dedication to advancing strong, sensible measures that keep travelers moving into and within our country. Their work advocating for traveler-friendly policy in areas from infrastructure funding to customs and border security has helped keep the travel industry a major job creator and driver of economic growth across the United States.

“We are privileged to honor Sen. Heller, Sen. Schatz, Rep. Jolly, Rep. Titus and Deputy Commissioner McAleenan, and hope that other political and government decision-makers will follow their lead in advocating for travel within their own districts, states, chambers and agencies.”

Sen. Dean Heller, Nevada

Sen. Heller, a member of the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, has shone in his legislative efforts to promote travel to the U.S. Notably, he was a leader in the bipartisan push to enact the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act of 2015, and was a co-sponsor of the bill that established Brand USA.

Sen. Brian Schatz, Hawai’i

Sen. Schatz, a co-chair of the Senate Tourism Caucus who sits on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, stands out for his role in the bipartisan push to pass the JOLT Act, and his leadership on the bill that renewed Brand USA into 2020.

Rep. David Jolly, Florida

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee sitting on the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and related agencies, Rep. Jolly has led the charge to modernize U.S. airports. He also supported the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, co-sponsored the bill that renewed Brand USA into 2020, helped lead the bipartisan House push to advance the JOLT Act and supported the transportation planning amendment to the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act.

Rep. Dina Titus, Nevada

Rep. Titus, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus, led the bipartisan House push to advance the JOLT Act last year, and was a strong supporter of the bill that renewed Brand USA into 2020. Recently, she supported the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 and was one of the lead sponsors of the transportation and planning amendment to the DRIVE Act.

Kevin McAleenan, Deputy Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Deputy Commissioner McAleenan has worked to protect national security while advocating for measures that ensure an expedited travel experience for all of those entering and re-entering the U.S. Under McAleenan’s leadership, CBP has continued its record as an excellent partner to the travel industry, through initiatives to make passenger processing at airports more efficient and efforts to strengthen the Visa Waiver Program.