The U.S. Travel Association, the preeminent trade association of America’s travel industry, has hired a December graduate from the University of New Orleans to join its government relations team as an intern. Emerson Hemperley will graduate on Friday, Dec. 16 with a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant and tourism administration and, less than a month later, will be immersed in tracking public policy proposals affecting travel promotion, airline competition, transportation and infrastructure.
“Learning through my independent study about how local changes in policy have the potential to affect tourism jumpstarted my interest in government relations,” Hemperley said. “One day I would like to be at the forefront of advocacy efforts that enhance the travel and tourism industry,” she said of her future career plans.
“We are incredibly proud to see Emerson launch her career from such a prestigious position,” said Kim Williams, director of UNO’s Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration.
“Internships with U.S. Travel are extremely competitive because they provide insight and work experience with a bird’s eye view of the industry, its challenges and opportunities. This internship will complement Emerson’s natural abilities and position her to join the workforce with valuable and rare experience,” Williams added.
Hemperley’s paid internship will employ her full-time from January through May of 2017 in U.S. Travel’s Washington, D.C. office. She will join the association’s government relations team, which includes working with their political action committee, known as Travel PAC. Travel PAC is a nonprofit organization of U.S. Travel members and employees established for the purpose of soliciting, collecting and disbursing political contributions as a means to support the election of pro-travel candidates to federal elective office. Key policy areas of interest to U.S. Travel are infrastructure for both aviation and surface transportation and travel facilitation, which includes customs and international arrival processes and visa programs.
According to U.S. Travel, the travel industry generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 15 million American jobs. The association’s purview of economic sectors includes transportation, lodging, retail, recreation and entertainment and foodservice and spans across all travel segments: meetings, leisure, business, incentive and trade shows.