Cape Cod Travel Industry Leaders Visit Washingon to Lobby Congress

Wendy Northcross

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce were in Washington D.C. last week to lobby members of Congress on tourism and travel related issues.

Wendy Northcross, the CEO of the chamber, was among those who took part in the trip with the U.S. Travel Association.

The association holds an annual Capitol Hill Day to advocate for policy to help with its mission to increase travel to and within the United States.

Northcross said the association focused on four main issues, including national infrastructure.

“It’s right in our sweet spot for policy issues,” Northcross said.

Northcross said the Cape Cod Canal bridges and surrounding roadways are at the top of the list for transportation priorities for the region and are in desperate need of modernization.

Massachusetts Department of Transportation has released a best scenario for the roadway network surrounding the bridges and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are conducting a study to determine recommendations for long-term solutions for the spans.

Northcross said transportation infrastructure is a major factor for the local economy.

“The bill is coming. We are going to have to do some enhancements and it is going to benefit people,” she said. “It’s going to benefit our quality of life and it is going to benefit our ability to go to work.”

The travel association also focused this year on increasing funding for the National Parks System.

Northcross said that is another important issue for tourism to Cape Cod.

“Cape Cod National Seashore is our primary calling card,” she said. “And we want to make sure that is operating to its maximum.”

The association also lobbied for expanding safe travel protections for visitors with visas from more countries.

“There are some that should be expanded to. There are countries that use safe protocols that match our own,” Northcross said.

“Why are we not allowing them to come to the country a little bit easier? Just to visit. Not to live or work.”

Efforts also included seeking the re-authorization of funding for Brand USA, which is essentially the nation’s chamber of commerce. Brand USA markets and promotes the United States as a travel destination.

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