Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined a bipartisan group of Senators, including Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pressing the department to provide a progress update on the National Travel and Tourism Infrastructure Strategic Plan, which has not yet been published. Senator Cortez Masto’s bipartisan TOURISM Act, which was included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, required DOT to update the National Travel and Tourism Infrastructure Strategic Plan within 180 days of enactment of the law – a date that passed over four months ago.
“On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. The new law includes our bipartisan TOURISM Act, requiring DOT to update the National Travel and Tourism Infrastructure Strategic Plan within 180 days of enactment of the law,” wrote the senators. “Unfortunately, while it has now been well over 300 days since the IIJA was signed into law, and more than 100 days since the Department of Commerce released its National Travel and Tourism Strategy, we have not yet seen an updated National Travel and Tourism Infrastructure Strategic Plan from DOT.”
“The travel and tourism industry is the cornerstone of many of our states’ economies, responsible for millions of good-paying jobs across a number of industries,” the senators continued. “It is imperative that DOT promptly update and release the National Travel and Tourism Infrastructure Strategic Plan in order to meet the needs of the travel and tourism industry and the requirements that Congress directed in enacted law.”
Senator Cortez Masto has been a champion of Nevada’s tourism economy. Most recently, Senator Cortez Masto secured over $21 million dollars in Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding to support Nevada’s tourism and outdoor recreation industry. In addition to the travel and tourism strategic plan, the senator included the establishment of a Chief Travel and Tourism Officer at the U.S. Department of Transportation to elevate the industries within transportation funding through the bipartisan infrastructure law. The senator advanced the Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act of 2021, which focused on restoring and expanding the nation’s tourism industry in the face of ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The senator secured Paycheck Protection Program funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for all small gaming businesses in Nevada that were impacted by the pandemic. She also successfully led the bipartisan effort to authorize a seven-year extension of the program Brand USA, the country’s premier tourism promotion program that encourages travel across the United States.
The full text of the letter can be found here.