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US travel industry calls for more visas for Chinese
from China.org.cn
Political leaders in Washington are under pressure to simplify and speed up the visa process for Chinese people seeking to visit the United States. The calls from the U.S. travel industry and from U.S.-China business advocates come just as Congress moves forward with a new law to increase immigration quotas for highly skilled workers in places like China. But as China.org.cn's Washington correspondent Daniel Ryntjes reports, there are growing calls for even more comprehensive reform of a system that has proven to be frustratingly slow for many potential Chinese travelers and immigrants. More
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Chamber president donates kidney in milestone procedure
from WPDE-TV
Myrtle Beach, S.C., Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean donated his kidney in the first four-way kidney transplant at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. "I've done a lot of things that I'm proud of — being a father and a husband first and foremost, and a professional second. But to save a life, extend a life or impact a life is something that we don't often get a chance to do," Dean said. More
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Raising airline taxes to cut deficit?
from Fox Business
The U.S. Travel Association sent a letter to Congress asking it to oppose any increases to aviation taxes in order to cut the federal deficit or fund the extension of the payroll tax cut. In a statement, the association's president and CEO, Roger J. Dow, says, "Raising aviation taxes as a 'pay-for' is a budgetary sleight-of-hand that works in the halls of Congress but discourages travel, hampers job creation and slows economic growth in the real world." More
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Klobuchar holds hearing on strengthening
local economies through tourism

from The Journal
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., held a hearing to discuss strengthening local economies through boosting tourism. Klobuchar has introduced legislation, the International Tourism Facilitation Act, that would help alleviate excessively long wait times for international travelers to receive U.S. visas by allowing the State Department the flexibility to streamline and expand their processing services without compromising the security of U.S. borders or citizens. More
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Airline passenger frustration continues as TSA tests
new prescreening security program

from Medill Reports
Long waits in line and invasive screening techniques continue to frustrate passengers. A U.S. Travel Association survey released last month found 68 percent of air travelers ranked the security checkpoint as a key frustration. More
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Push on to expand private TSA baggage screeners
from USA Today
As complaints swirl around the Transportation Security Administration, some airports and lawmakers want to hire private baggage screeners under a program the TSA administrator is reluctant to expand. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., wants more airports to join the little-known TSA program that has hired private screeners — rather than government workers — at 17 airports so far. More
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FAA: Changes coming to prevent tarmac delays
from The Associated Press via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Obama administration officials have promised to make changes before the Christmas travel season to help prevent nightmare scenarios like the one in October when hundreds of passengers were trapped for hours on planes in Hartford, Conn., during a freak snowstorm. "We can act fast," Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbitt said as he and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood discussed the changes with reporters. More
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What are your rights when you fly?
from Airfarewatchdog.com via USA Today
There's the Bill of Rights, Thomas Paine's Rights of Man and the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But what about your "rights" when you fly? Do you have any, really? You might be surprised to learn that even though the U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced some new passenger regulations, there probably are fewer than you think, and your rights vary depending on the country you're flying within or from. Here's a rundown. More
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Forget the airline's name; it's all about alliances
from The New York Times
Approximately 18 months ago, G. Bruce Hedlund, a captain with American Airlines, looked out the window of his 757 as it rolled toward a taxiway at Kennedy Airport and spotted what he considered the future of commercial aviation. "Passing in front of us was one of our 767s, but it didn't say American Airlines," Hedlund said. "Instead it had 'Oneworld' painted on it, in great big letters all the way down the side of the airplane," a reference to the global Oneworld alliance comprising American and 11 other airlines from around the world. More
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Travel industry counts on football, special events
from The Associated Press via CBS News
Tourism officials in Tennessee are counting on football games and special events to keep the travel business steady during the usually slow month of December. More
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International Pow Wow more than 80 percent sold out
from U.S. Travel Association
Is your business positioned to capitalize on the upswing and industry growth expected in international travel? U.S. Travel has sold more than 80 percent of exhibit space and is projecting a sellout event for International Pow Wow in Los Angeles, April 21-25. Reserve your space today before it's too late! U.S. Travel will host a half-hour webinar on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. EST that will show you why International Pow Wow offers the greatest return on investment available for your international marketing dollar and why registering is one of the smartest business moves you'll make for the coming year. Register for the webinar today. More
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