Summary: S.1661 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (11/27/2007)

Travel Promotion Act of 2007 - (Sec. 2) Establishes as a nonprofit corporation the Corporation for Travel Promotion to develop and execute a plan to: (1) provide information to foreign tourists and others interested in traveling to the United States; (2) counter and correct misperceptions regarding U.S. travel policy; (3) maximize the economic and diplomatic benefits of travel to the United States; (4) ensure that international travel to the United States benefits all states and the District of Columbia; and (5) give travel promotion priority to countries and populations most likely to travel to the United States. Requires fiscal accountability and annual audits of the Corporation, as well as an annual report from the Corporation to the Secretary of Commerce and Congress. Establishes in the Treasury the Travel Promotion Fund. Provides matching funds requirements.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) to develop and implement a fully automated electronic travel authorization system to collect basic biographical information necessary to determine, in advance of travel, the eligibility of an alien to travel to the United States under the visa waiver program. Authorizes the Secretary to charge a fee for the system's use. Requires the Secretary to: (1) prescribe regulations that provide a period, not to exceed three years, during which a determination of eligibility to travel under visa waiver program will be valid; and (2) report to Congress on program implementation. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 6) Authorizes the Corporation to impose an annual assessment on U.S. members of the international travel and tourism industry represented on the Board of Directors of the Corporation, provided such assessment is approved by a majority of industry members in a referendum.

(Sec. 7) Establishes in the Department of Commerce the Office of Travel Promotion, headed by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Travel Promotion, to conduct various activities related to the promotion of international travel to the United States. Requires periodic reports from the Under Secretary to the congressional commerce committees.

(Sec. 8) Amends the International Travel Act of 1961 to require the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries to expand its research and development activities to promote international travel to the United States. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 9) Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish a model ports-of-entry program to provide a more efficient and welcoming international arrival process with respect to business and tourist travel to the United States, while also improving security; and (2) implement the program initially at the 20 U.S. international airports that have the highest number of foreign visitors arriving annually, as determined pursuant to data collected by the United States Customs and Border Protection. Requires the Secretary to employ no fewer than an additional 200 Customs and Border Protection officers to address staff shortages at such airports.