Courier October Courier - Page 12

BUSINESS RELATING TO GOVERNMENT INSIGHTS ON U.S. LEGISLATIVE ISSUES AND INDUSTRY TOPICS Pro-travel issues advance from Congress and the White House White House have remained responsive to the needs of the tourism sector. In July both the House and Senate appropriations committees marked up their respective Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills for fiscal year 2018. The Senate bill proposes an increase to the Passenger Facility Charge, a fee charged by air- ports to passengers to fund airport infrastructure. PFCs enable airports to fund modern- ization projects that can reduce conges- tion and enhance the overall traveling experience. PFCs are currently capped at $4.50, and the Senate bill would increase this cap to $8.50 at the point of origin. The House bill does not include this increase. It is likely, however, that airlines and others will vehemently oppose this increase during the THUD appropriations conference committee later this year. The Trump administration’s proposed FY2018 budget, which was presented to Congress in May, included the elimi- nation of Brand USA, a public-private partnership that was established by the Travel Promotion Act of 2009. Brand USA markets the U.S. abroad as a top travel bit.ly/2jeCv9f WHILE CONGRESS and the Trump administration often appear at odds with one another, issues important to the travel and tourism sector have recently advanced. Congress has clearly made travel security, travel moderniza- tion and tourism promotion a priority as part of its funding plan for fiscal year 2018. The White House is also looking for ways to improve and enhance infra- structure spending, an issue important to the travel and tourism industry. As NTA has remained engaged with the U.S. federal government on its priori- ties, the House, the Senate and even the 10 October 2017