NEW YORK: U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Barnes issued the following statement on the introduction of a bill to rename the Visa Waiver Program to the Secure Travel Partnership:
“Rebranding the Visa Waiver Program will have a lot of downstream benefits for both U.S. security and the U.S. economy. For many, the program has had the connotation of relaxed security standards, when in fact the opposite is true: membership in the VWP subjects entrants to rigorous pre-travel vetting, mandates other security enhancements such as un-counterfeitable biometric passports, and enables invaluable intelligence-sharing with our partners in the program. Just as good, facilitating travel for citizens of our closest security allies also entails billions of dollars in proven economic impact.
Renaming the program the Secure Travel Partnership will much more precisely describe its crucial role and allow policymakers to focus on policies aimed at enhancing and expanding it in order to maximize its security and economic potential.