Press Releases

Congressional Caucus

Published Jun 11, 2015 12:00AM



NEW YORK – June 11, 2015 – Next week, The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) will lead a contingent of active and associate members to Washington, D.C. for strategic meetings with elected officials on government issues impacting the travel industry. The annual Congressional Caucus is scheduled for June 17-18, 2015 at the Washington Court Hotel.

Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04) will open the morning session with welcome remarks, followed by an update on current Cuba legislation from Senator John Boozman (R-AR), an advocate for ending the embargo and reducing travel restrictions to Cuba.

“USTOA is a longtime avid supporter of an ‘Open Borders’ policy and Cuba is one of the top priorities for our meetings with members of Congress,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. “With the recent vote in the House that would reverse the loosening of travel restrictions to Cuba, our visit to Capitol Hill couldn’t be timelier. USTOA fully supports both the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (H.R. 664), as well as the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act (S. 491).” 

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), co-chair of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus will provide an update on topics that include the JOLT Act (Jobs Originated through Launching Travel). JOLT stresses the implementation of a system of reforms to streamline and enhance current travel regulations into the U.S. from foreign countries.  “The JOLT Act continues to be critically important to international travelers and USTOA members,” Dale commented.   

On the transportation front, USTOA will be briefed on the “Open Skies” policy by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs, State Dept., Thomas Engle.  Key issues and updates from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will be delivered by Blane Workie, acting assistant general counsel, Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, U.S. Department of Transportation.

Additionally, Vice President, Government Relations for the U.S. Travel Association, Patricia Rojas-Ungár will present an overview on the U.S. travel industry and lead a session focused on legislative priorities including continued funding of the National Park Service Centennial. 

“National Parks is another hot topic on our agenda with USTOA in support of all legislation that helps restore and reinvest in these sacred American lands,” added Dale. “With next year’s 100th anniversary and recent markups on National Park Service bills, it’s a crucial time to be a part of the conversation.” 

For questions and more information on USTOA, visit, call 212-599-6599, or email

About USTOA: 

Representing more than $13.5 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow nearly 8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe.   Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business. 

As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.


Gina Dolecki/Liz Carty                                          

Redpoint Marketing PR., Inc.




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