As previously reported, the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to delay the implementation of the REAL ID Act, which is set to take full effect on May 3, 2023. The USTA indicated that many Americans will not be fully ready for implementation of the REAL ID Act. USTA called for a delayed implementation or the development of an alternative screening process for travelers with a legacy ID to ensure that air travelers and the industry’s recovery are not impeded. USTA would seek a delay until measures are in place to prevent a scenario in which travelers are turned away at airport security checkpoints.”
Recently, President Joe Biden announced the repeal of COVID-19 pre-departure testing requirements for all inbound air travelers to the United States will be lifted on June 12, 2022. Visit San Antonio joined the U.S. Travel Association and more than 260 other travel industry organizations to secure the termination of this in-bound air travel requirement. The repeal of this testing requirement for all inbound air travelers is projected to add 5.4 million visitors to U.S. and $9 billion in travel spending through the remainder of 2022.
The 87th State Legislative Interim Session continues with several Senate and House Committees conducting hearings on various interim charges. The Visit San Antonio Government Relations Team (GR Team) is monitoring the interim activity. As previously reported, the GR Team will be monitoring the interim activities of the Senate and House of Representatives. Specifically, the GR team continues to monitor the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, & Tourism’s interim charges related to the travel and tourism industry.
In addition, the GR Team continues to work with the committee’s Vice-Chair Representative Barbara Gervin-Hawkins to host an interim hearing in San Antonio in the coming weeks. As the GR Team receives more details about this hearing, we will provide additional information.
The GR Team is also monitoring the Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee’s interim charge concerning the Hotel Occupancy Tax. The GR Team is monitoring the committee’s interim charge related to the possible expansion of the Hotel Occupancy Taxes for additional uses of the funds collected.
Finally, the GR team will begin to reach out to VSA Board members and staff, industry partners, community partners, and other stakeholders to develop VSA’s State Legislative Program for the 88th State Legislative Session.
The Visit San Antonio GR Team continues to monitor the City of San Antonio’s actions related to the Noise Ordinance review and the SA Climate Ready’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) initiative. As additional meeting information and developments unfold, the GR Team will provide additional information on these two issues.