Industry Leaders Meet With Homeland Security Secretary, Discuss Travel Issues

Travel leaders from around the country met yesterday with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to discuss issues affecting their industry, including swine flu and visa entry policies, the Travel Industry Association announced yesterday.

The meeting, which was facilitated by the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus, was chaired by Congressmen Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and attended by 12 industry leaders, including:

• Roger Dow, President and CEO, U.S. Travel Association
• Jonathan Tisch, Chairman and CEO, Loews Hotels
• Emily Cassell, Director, Arlington Convention & Visitors Service
• Simon Gros, Vice President, Travelport
• John Groundwater, Executive Director, Passenger Vessel Association
• Bill Hardman, President and CEO, Southeast Tourism Society
• John Meehan, Executive Vice President and COO, Air Transportation Association of America
• Patrick Madden, President, Sister Cities International
• Jonas Neihardt, Senior Vice President, Hilton Hotels Corporation
• Adam W. Salerno, Senior Manager, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
• Honorable James Santini, Legislative Counsel, National Tour Association
• Colin Tooze, Vice President, American Society of Travel Agents

"We appreciate Secretary Napolitano's interest in ensuring travel security is coupled with facilitation," Dow said in a statement. "Her support of the model ports initiative and the visa waiver program demonstrate an active interest in helping international visitors come to our country. The travel community remains committed to working with Secretary Napolitano to continue improving the entry process, as well as ensuring responsible communication and preparation to minimize the impact of the H1N1 flu outbreak on travel."