Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced that the Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act of 2021 she helped develop advanced through the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation with strong bipartisan support. This bipartisan legislative package is focused on restoring and expanding the nation’s tourism industry in the face of ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nevada is a world-class tourism destination, and I’ll always champion our hospitality and travel sector that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across our state,” said Cortez Masto. “That’s why I worked with my colleagues and tourism representatives to help craft this bipartisan legislation with vital support for the industry – including bills to promote international tourism and implement better health and safety protocols to keep visitors safe during the pandemic and beyond. Nevada sets the gold standard in hospitality, and I’ll keep working to ensure we can strengthen our economy and safely welcome everyone who wants to experience the Silver State.”
One of Senator Cortez Masto’s top priorities is ensuring Nevada’s hospitality, live entertainment, and tourism sectors have the resources and support they need. Senator Cortez Masto supported the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which included her push for $3 billion in funding to assist states with their economic recovery and fought to ensure this funding was directed to communities and states hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and their vital tourism industries, including Nevada. That bill has led to over $13 million in tourism-related support to Nevada so far. Senator Cortez Masto secured over $15 billion in “Save Our Stages” relief, which created SVOG, for live entertainment venues to address the impacts of the pandemic. Last year, she helped pass the seven-year reauthorization of ‘Brand USA’, which is a public-private partnership that enhances tourism and job creation across the country.
Key legislation included in the Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act of 2021:
- The Visit America Act (S.1947) authorizes the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and for the first time ever creates an assistant secretary position within the Department of Commerce focused exclusively on bolstering America’s travel and tourism industry and coordinating a strategy across multiple federal agencies by establishing annual goals and recommendations.
- The Protecting Tourism in the US Act (S. 115) directs the Department of Commerce to study the effects of COVID-19 on travel and tourism and make policy recommendations.
- The Ensuring Health Safety in the Skies Act (S. 82) establishes a temporary joint task force among the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Health and Human Services to address the unique impact of COVID-19 on air travel both during and after the pandemic. The Joint Task Force will develop recommended requirements, plans, and guidelines to address the health, safety, security, and logistical issues relating to air travel during the pandemic, the return to full operations at airports, and the increased levels of passenger air travel likely to occur after the pandemic. The bill also establishes a Joint Federal Advisory Committee to advise the Joint Task Force.
- The Fly Safe Canine COVID Detection Act (S. 343) directs the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to conduct a feasibility study on canines to screen airport travelers for COVID-19.
- The One-Stop Pilot Program Act of 2021 establishes a TSA pilot program to securely make TSA baggage screening more efficient for passengers.