The U.S. Travel Association applauded the introduction in the U.S. House of Representatives of the JOLT-“Jobs Originated through Launching Travel”-Act, a bipartisan bill that would leverage the benefits of inbound international travel to the United States to increase economic growth, create more jobs, generate additional tax revenue and boost U.S. exports.

“The data is clear-increased international travel to the U.S. will deliver the jolt America’s economy needs right now,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “The JOLT Act works for America.”

The bill, which was introduce din the U.S. Senate by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY in 2012, was introduced in the House last week by  Rep. Mike Quigley, D-IL and  Rep. Joe Heck, R-NV. Dow noted that one provision in the JOLT Act-expanding the Visa Waiver Program -could increase annual visitation by 4 million, add more than $45 billion to the U.S. economy and support nearly 300,000 American jobs.

Such projections appear to be supported by research by Outdoor Industry Association that estimates that for every $1 Americans spend on trips and travel they spend roughly 25 cents on outdoor recreation products, a sum that reached $120.7 billion in 2011. In the fourth quarter of 2012, American tourists spent an estimated $75.8 billion on recreation and $90.4 billion on shopping, according to estimates released last week by the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

The JOLT Act is supported by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the Intercontinental Hotels Group, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, National Restaurant Association, the National Retailers Federation and the National Association of Counties.

 The JOLT Act is a jobs and economic growth bill that harnesses the power of travel to deliver increased revenue and economic opportunity to communities all across America, said Dow. As Americas number one service export that supports one in eight U.S. jobs, travel is an economic engine that powers growth and job creation.”