NEW YORK – Terry Dale, president & CEO of the United States Tour Operators Association, released the following statement: “USTOA applauds the Administration’s announcement lifting its requirement for pre-departure COVID-19 testing. The pre-departure testing requirement for international air travelers has depressed a significant amount of travel to the U.S. and hasn’t provided any meaningful benefit to public health for some time. Removing the pre-departure testing requirement will incentivize vaccination, increase demand for international travel to and from the U.S., and better align passenger aviation entry requirements with those at U.S. land border points of entry and other major travel-trade partners abroad. USTOA remains committed to working with the Administration to ensure a safe, expeditious reopening of international travel.”
Dale added that the long-awaited announcement is particularly timely as USTOA plans to bring a delegation of members to Washington, D.C., for its Annual Congressional Caucus on June 14 and 15.
American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) President & CEO Chip Rogers released the following statement after the Biden Administration announced it was lifting its requirement for travelers to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the U.S., beginning at midnight Sunday, June 12.
“Today’s announcement is a significant win for hotels and the broader travel industry. AHLA consistently called on the Administration and Congress to lift this testing requirement, which was out of date and had a chilling effect on inbound international travel to the U.S. Lifting the requirement will make travel easier, facilitating more international visitors and helping hotels continue on the road to recovery, especially as we approach peak travel season this summer.
“Thank you to the Biden Administration for lifting the requirement, and to Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) for their leadership in pushing for this critical change.”
GBTA, the voice of the global business travel industry, supports the anticipated announcement by the Biden Administration eliminating the requirement for all travelers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, within 24-hours of arriving in the United States, effective Sunday, June 12.
“GBTA heartily applauds the lifting of the U.S. testing requirement which has been a remaining key barrier impacting the return of travel. It is vital to global recovery that we continue to show that America is open for business and for business travel. Americans have been unwilling to take the chance of being unable to return to the U.S. at the end of their business trip or vacation. This will also help to ensure we create an easy path forward for international travelers to return to the U.S. for business, conferences, and meetings. We’ve made progress in returning to life and business and cannot afford to go backwards,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, Global Business Travel Association.
GBTA has been an active voice on this topic over the past months. As recently as this week, GBTA hosted its 2022 U.S. Legislative Summit on Capitol Hill where GBTA constituents met with U.S. legislators to share an appeal from the business travel industry to lift the testing requirement in the U.S. GBTA stakeholders outlined that the U.S. travel restrictions were impacting people’s willingness to travel. Constantly changing requirements and strict testing measures were cited as a top concern for business travel in a GBTA study.
Lifting the U.S. testing requirement was also the prime topic of GBTA testimony provided by Neufang at a June 7th U.S. Senate Subcommittee hearing on reviving conventions and tourism through international travel.