Visit San Antonio: Legislative Update, July 2022
The U.S. Travel Association selected Mr. Geoff Freeman to lead U.S. Travel with the retirement of current President & CEO Mr. Roger Dow. Mr. Freeman will join U.S. Travel on September 1, 2022.
Visit San Antonio joined with U.S. Travel and its Sustainable Travel Coalition to send a letter to Congress advocating for the following policies:
- A tax credit for the production and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
- An enhanced tax credit to increase the availability of electric vehicle charging stations.
- An enhanced tax deduction to increase energy efficiency upgrades to commercial buildings.
- Federal investments to protect and restore natural attractions, including recreational waterways, shorelines, and National Parks.
- Other clean energy incentives for investment in renewable energy deployment, green hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, direct air capture and other innovative technologies to lower the carbon intensity of transportation fuels and the power grid.
In a new survey collaboration between U.S. Travel Association, J.D. Power, and Tourism Economics, found in the Quarterly Business Travel Tracker, over half of large-company executives agree that reducing business travel may represent short-term savings but will bring long-term negative impacts on revenue.
The Visit San Antonio Government Relations Team (GR Team) continues to monitor the State Interim Session activity 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.
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 monitoring the Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee’s interim charge concerning the Hotel Occupancy Tax. The GR Team has met with the Texas Travel Alliance and other DMO’s to discuss the effects of expanding the Hotel Occupancy Taxes for additional uses.
Finally, the GR team has begun the development of VSA’s 88th State Legislative Program. Members of the team will be contacting VSA Board members, industry partners, community partners, and other stakeholders to develop and adopt VSA’s State Legislative Program for the upcoming 88th State Legislative Session.
The San Antonio City Council recesses during the month of July and did not hold regular council meetings. This is done as city staff begins the development of the city’s FY2023 Annual Budget. 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.