On 30 May, ICCA North American Regional Director Jose Barreiro took part in the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance's annual Legislative Action Day in Washington, D.C. The event focused on two key priorities: helping travellers more easily gain entry to the United States to attend international meetings, trade shows, and conferences, and developing new ways for the meetings and events industry to grow and train its workforce.  

"ICCA attendance was important because we are the global advocate for the meetings industry," said Barreiro. "ICCA works with governments around the world, including UN Tourism. ICCA's commitment to training, education, and workforce development is a key mission. Our focus on association meetings brings intellectual capital, the exchange of ideas and societal good to destinations globally." 

Barreiro joined more than 130 business-events industry leaders and advocates representing 25 states and countries in meeting with officials and policymakers. Participants were able to make their case to legislators and communicate the value of business events, highlighting benefits including job creation and economic growth.  

Job Creation, Economic Benefits Underscored During Capitol Hill Meetings 

Additional talking points included the economic impact of the meetings industry on the U.S. GDP and the expansion of meetings industry workforce by appropriating funding for training, education, and apprenticeship programs. 

U.S. Congressmembers are considering three bills that aim to allow more flexibility in the visa-application process, as well as improve transparency and prevent delays. The Visa Processing Improvement Act, the Visitor Visa Wait Time Reduction Act, and the VISITOR Act are under review in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.  

ICCA is a proud partner of the ECA, which, as an advocate for the business-events industry, shares ICCA's mission and vision for a dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable future for the industry.