Wednesday, January 31, 2024 — House and Senate Leadership recently announced a bipartisan deal to revive expired tax credits for research and development, among other provisions. The Travel Technology Association has endorsed the bill, H.R. 7024 Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024. Many travel tech industry members have utilized the R&D tax credits to develop new innovations to further empower traveler choice.

According to news reports, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on this legislation this week or next, with the Senate soon to follow. Tell your Members of Congress to support this bill by sending a letter through Travel Tech’s Policy Action Center.

Take Action Today

The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Travel Tech Urges Congress to End the State Privacy Patchwork

As part of its advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry, the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) announced a continued focus area for 2024: supporting a comprehensive national data privacy framework. To showcase its commitment to data privacy, particularly during National Data Privacy Week, Travel Tech published a new issue brief on the importance of a national data framework.

Since 2018, 185 comprehensive privacy bills have been considered across 46 states and 13 states have enacted comprehensive privacy bills. The lack of federal leadership on the issue has created a conflicting patchwork of privacy laws that confuse consumers and harm American businesses.

“A national framework is essential to protecting the privacy of consumers in the travel industry,” said Laura Chadwick, President & CEO of Travel Tech. “The current patchwork of state laws wastes resources on complicated compliance efforts and compromises privacy protections for the residents and tourists.”

The new webpage outlines Travel Tech’s key principles for federal privacy legislation. These include:

  1. Consistent Terminology for Global Clarity: A new federal privacy law should align definitions and terminology with established international frameworks. Diverse terminology across global privacy frameworks creates confusion, especially for companies operating internationally. 
  1. Flexible Purposes for Responsible Data Use: Congress should avoid a rigid list of permitted data uses that would hinder innovation and adaptability for businesses. Support flexible “legitimate interest” provisions as the primary legal basis for processing, allowing businesses to adapt to evolving needs while respecting individual privacy.  
  1. Free Flow of Data for Global Efficiency: Congress should avoid data localization restrictions in any new federal privacy law. The promotion of a framework that facilitates the free flow of personal data while upholding robust data protection principles will help balance individual privacy with global economic growth and promote responsible data practices. 

In August 2023, Travel Tech joined the United for Privacy: End the Patchwork coalition to advocate for comprehensive federal privacy legislation that creates a uniform national standard, preempts state law, and ends the privacy patchwork of various state regulations.


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Major Activity Anticipated by Congress, Regulatory Agencies, and State Legislatures in 2024

January 10, 2024 — With Members of Congress returning to Capitol Hill this week, Travel Tech released a briefing on the state of play for public policy impacting the travel industry. As interest in travel continues to rebound with consumers and policymakers, the association is keyed into ongoing legislative and regulatory fights on behalf of travel tech companies. 

Advocating for One National Mandatory Fee Price Transparency Law and Enforcement Fairness for Travel Tech Companies

Policymakers on both the federal and state levels continue to pursue efforts to hold hotels accountable when they withhold information about their mandatory fees from travelers. Travel Tech supports a single, national standard and a common-sense provision to account for situations when hotels fail to provide accurate and complete information to price comparison sites.

Action Areas: Federal Trade Commission’s Trade Regulation Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees proposed rule (NPRM) (comments due February 7, 2024), S. 2498, the Hotel Transparency Act of 2023, and H.R. 6543, the No Hidden Fees on Extra Expenses for Stays (FEES) Act.

Anticipating Final Rules on Refunds and Ancillary Fee Transparency by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in February and March

According to the federal government’s Unified Regulatory Agenda, the DOT will issue its final rules on Airline Ticket Refunds and Consumer Protections in February and Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees in March of this year. Travel Tech filed comprehensive comments on both proposed rules, as each will majorly impact the travel technology industry. 

Action Areas: DOT’s Airline Ticket Refunds and Consumer Protections and Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees Notice of Proposed Rulemakings

Securing Travel Tech’s Priorities in the Long-Term Reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by Congress

The second extension of the FAA expires on Friday, March 8, 2024. The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee will likely soon schedule a markup of S. 1939, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023. In July 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act. Both pieces of legislation include major Travel Tech priorities, and the association continues to advocate actively for provisions included in S.1939.

Action Areas: S. 1939, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 and H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act 

American Innovation and Choice Online Act

Travel Tech supports S.2033, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) to address the vast inequities resulting from extremely large search platforms, like Google, abusing their dominant position and undermining competition. 

Action Areas: S.2033, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) 

Ensuring the Responsible Use of AI in Travel

Both state and federal policymakers are grappling with how AI tools should be regulated. Given the concerns about inaccurate or outdated information and recommendations, copyright issues, ethical risks and more, the use of AI in travel may soon be a focal point in such discussions. Travel Tech will engage with policymakers on the responsible use of AI in the travel sector. 

Sign up for Travel Tech’s Passport newsletter and stay in the know about news and public policy impacting the travel tech industry. Delivered every Wednesday, Passport keeps industry leaders up-to-date on current and emerging issues and advocacy efforts.


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

On Wednesday, December 6th, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce considered H.R. 6543, the No Hidden Fees on Extra Expenses for Stays (FEES) Act. In advance of the markup, the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) submitted a letter to the Members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The committee passed the legislation in a vote of 44-0.

The No Hidden FEES Act will require – for the first time ever in federal law – consumers to be shown the total price for a hotel room (including rate and all mandatory fees). Under this legislation, the total price must be “transparent to and easily understood by the consumer.”

Laura Chadwick, President & CEO of Travel Tech stated, “The No Hidden Fees on Extra Expenses for Stays Act is an important first step to bring much-needed transparency to consumers from hotels to rein in their troubling resort fee practices.”

Travel Tech supports provisions in the bill that will set a single, national standard for the transparency of mandatory fees assessed by hotels. It will create uniformity and certainty for hotels, short-term rentals, online ticket agents, metasearch agents, and others, and most of all, travelers – no matter where they reside in the U.S. – about what is included in advertised pricing for lodging.

“Despite the benefits of this legislation, H.R. 6543, however, lacks a common-sense provision to account for when hotels fail to provide accurate and complete information to price comparison sites,” Chadwick added.

Thirty-nine states have laws in place to protect against situations when inaccurate sales tax information is conveyed from the seller to the marketplace and onto the consumer. These state laws rightly hold the seller – in this case, hotels – responsible in such instances and not the marketplaces like those of Travel Tech member companies. Travel Tech simply seeks the same fair consideration on the federal level regarding mandatory fee information.

Read our full letter.


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Right now, policymakers on the federal, state, and local levels are debating public policies directly impacting your travel technology company. Now, more than ever, the travel technology industry must come together and advocate for pro-innovation legislation and regulations to support the continued growth of our industry.

But what does advocacy for the travel tech industry look like? What can companies and their leaders do to support these efforts while running their businesses, especially without policy-focused staff?

Join Travel Tech on Wednesday, January 17th, 2024, at 1:00 pm for a free webinar featuring Amy Showalter, grassroots and PAC influence expert, to answer these questions and more.

Register Today

You will learn:

Through publishing multiple books, guest lecturing, and winning awards for her innovations, Amy Showalter has developed and galvanized thousands of grassroots evangelists and staff who want to advance their case through the legislative process. She is the most published expert in the nation on grassroots and PAC performance, with over 900 publications featuring her insights.

Register today to secure one of the 100 spots available for this session and uncover the keys to impactful advocacy.

Register Today

Promotes Companies as the Engines Behind Traveler Choice

Monday, November 27th — The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) unveiled a campaign this week educating policymakers on the importance of Global Distribution Systems (GDS), which power the technology behind online travel sites, mobile apps, travel agents, and a multitude of travel solutions. With a sponsorship of Politico’s Morning Transportation newsletter and a new website and video, Travel Tech is advocating for the technology and companies that increase transparency and choice in travel.

Travel Tech represents leading GDS members Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport. Without GDS platforms, travel bookers would be unable to compare prices in one place, forcing them to visit airline, hotel, car rental, and other travel suppliers’ websites one by one in search of the best prices and schedules.

“GDS technology allows consumers and travel agents to compare schedules, fares, and fees between travel suppliers, making travel more competitive and accessible,” said Laura Chadwick, President & CEO of Travel Tech. “Travel Tech members provide consumers with choice at each stage of their travel journey. If airlines or other travel suppliers choose not to share ancillary fee data with GDS companies, it harms not only the GDS but their own customers.”

WATCH THE GDS EXPLAINER VIDEO

The new video developed by Travel Tech describes how GDS platforms work by connecting travel bookers and travel suppliers to promote price transparency and competition. GDS technology allows consumers to search for, compare, and book among thousands of travel options.

More Resources on Global Distribution Systems:


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Thursday, November 16th, 2023 — The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech), the voice of the travel technology industry and advocate for public policy that supports a competitive and transparent marketplace, led an interactive panel discussion focused on “Responsible AI: Is Regulation the Answer and How Far Should It Go?” at the recent Phocuswright Conference held in Hollywood, FL. 

Robert Cole, CEO, RockCheetah, Sundar Narasimhan, SVP, President of Sabre Labs & Product Strategy, Sabre, and Lara Tennyson, Head of US Federal Affairs, Booking Holdings joined Laura Chadwick, President & CEO of Travel Tech on the panel.

“Since the debut of ChatGPT over a year ago, policymakers in Washington, DC have grappled with what, if anything, government should do to regulate the use of AI, which will undoubtedly impact both large and small travel tech companies,” said Chadwick. The innovative travel technology industry has long employed AI and machine learning to support and streamline their companies’ or clients’ business functions. Recently, industry members have developed and debuted new tools to empower traveler choice.

Panelists and audience members at the Phocuswright session shared their concerns about the consequences of overregulation and how important it is to have travel innovators as part of the policymaking process. They also agreed that the travel tech industry should come together to promote the responsible use of AI in travel.

“We heard important feedback at this session to guide Travel Tech’s advocacy with members of Congress and the Biden Administration,” said Chadwick. “This is the essence of the work we do at Travel Tech to support the industry on this topic and many others. I strongly encourage others to reach out to the association and share their points of view.” 

Share Your Thoughts about Responsible AI: Is Regulation the Answer and How Far Should It Go?

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The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Association to Submit Comments in Response to Junk Fee Challenges in the Indirect Channel

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently published its proposed Trade Regulation Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees and is currently seeking public comment. If adopted, this wide-sweeping regulation would directly impact companies in the travel tech sector, including those that engage in the indirect sale of hotel rooms or other places of short-term lodging and/or place a surcharge on consumer transactions to cover the cost of payment processing and beyond.

To support travel tech industry members, the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) has developed a free regulatory analysis to help companies understand this proposed new regulation. Travel Tech is working with its members to submit comments by the new official due date of February 7, 2024. (Interested in learning more about membership? Learn more here.) 

As both federal and state authorities focus on junk fee transparency, Travel Tech has continued to advocate on behalf of the industry. Travel Tech is engaged with members of Congress in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate specifically focused on legislation on resort fee transparency. It has also published a free legislative analysis of California’s new price transparency laws that go into effect in July 2024. Travel Tech has also submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees” Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

“Travel Tech members are committed to operating transparently. It is central to the benefits they provide to consumers,” said Laura Chadwick, President & CEO of Travel Tech. “To protect competition and transparency, any regulations in this area must apply equally to all entities providing travel pricing information, both online and offline.”

Access Travel Tech’s Free Regulatory Analysis on FTC Junk Fees

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The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Bill’s Safe Harbor Provision is Essential for Pro-Consumer Price Comparison Sites

On Wednesday, November 1st, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce held a markup on the No Hidden FEES Act of 2023. The Act will require – for the first time ever in federal law – consumers are shown the total price for a hotel room (including rate and all mandatory fees) wherever hotel pricing is available. Under this legislation, the total price must be “transparent to and easily understood by the consumer.” 

Travel Tech and its members continue to engage on this important legislation, working with subcommittee staff to incorporate a safe harbor provision similar to those used in many states for sales and occupancy tax collection.  

Laura Chadwick, President and CEO of Travel Tech said: “Providing transparent and competitive pricing to consumers is central to price comparison websites’ business models. The safe harbor language ensures that hotels must share their resort fees not only on their own websites but on price comparison sites too.”

“Without a safe harbor, price comparison sites would have to engage in costly, time-intensive investigations and contract dispute litigation with the tens of thousands of hotels providing their rates and taxes – but not their mandatory fees – to these sites,” Chadwick added. “Doing so will detract from price comparison sites’ core purpose: providing a transparent and competitive marketplace for consumers to find and book their travel.” 

Multiple states have identical safe harbor laws for sales and/or occupancy tax collection. In these cases, if sellers fail to provide accurate tax information to price comparison sites, the sellers are ultimately responsible – not the marketplace. The same should follow on the federal level if a hotel provides inaccurate resort fees to a travel marketplace.


The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or bwilliamson@glenechogroup.com.

Thursday, November 2nd, 2023 – The Travel Technology Association announced its support for extending competitive tax policies vital to workers and America’s economic future, including immediate R&D expensing, a pro-growth interest deductibility standard, and full expensing.

In a letter to Congress led by the R&D Coalition, Travel Tech urged members of Congress to work together to pass these tax policies that are critically important for the travel technology industry. Allowing for immediate R&D expensing will secure the U.S. as a global leader in innovation, incentivize job-creating investments, and reinforce America’s competitiveness on the world stage.

Read the letter to Congress.

Travel Tech Joins Coalition Letter to Congress Urging the Extension of Competitive Tax Policies

Travel Tech Releases New Economic Analysis on Costs of Phasing Out Legal Short-Term Rentals on Maui

June 13, 2024

Study shows short-term rentals generated $2.2 billion in economic activity for Maui and $11.3 billion across Hawaii in 2023 KAHULUI – Today, the Travel Technology Association and Hawaii economic consultant Kloninger & Sims released a study on the economic and fiscal impacts of the short-term rental market in Maui County and across the state. According […]