US Travel Criticizes Trusted Traveler Enrollment Freeze in NY, Predicts Travel’s Bright Future


In separate developments, U.S. Travel Association has protested a recent Homeland Security decision and painted a rosy picture for travel in the early 2020s.

Reacting to the Trump Administration’s decision to freeze enrollment in Global Entry and other trusted traveler programs in New York state over a state law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president for public affairs and policy for U.S. Travel, said today, “Travel should not be politicized.”

Suspending enrollment, she stated, “only undermines travel security and efficiency.”

That message was a dramatic counterpoint to the one delivered yesterday before an audience of stakeholders, media and policymakers in Washington, D.C., by U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow.

In his address, Dow portrayed a bright future for the American travel industry and expounded on strategies that can expand and strengthen the industry, including the following.

  • Promoting travel through trade by elevating travel’s role as a vital U.S. export in trade negotiations with Japan, the United Kingdom, the European Union and China.
  • Enhancing security by leveraging the industry’s commitment to creating a seamless travel experience by deploying biometric innovation, improving the Real ID Act through policy changes, alleviating security chokepoints and expanding successful trusted-traveler programs.
  • Spurring pro-travel commerce through economic initiatives and travel-friendly changes to the U.S. tax code, as well as investments in infrastructure and national parks.
  • Promoting a sustainable travel industry through innovation solutions such as Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) becoming the first carbon-neutral airport in North America, Colorado Tourism Office’s “Are you Colo-ready?” program and Visit California’s statewide Destination Stewardship plan, which outlines principles and sustainability opportunities and practices for industry partners.

“We’ve built a pretty ambitious agenda, but it aligns perfectly with an industry as ambitious and invigorated as travel,” Dow said. “We’re betting big on the future because we know what our industry can achieve if we unite behind a vision, join together to advance common goals and put our shared interests first.”