For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
LAS VEGAS—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today visited Las Vegas to meet with small business owners and stakeholders and deliver remarks at the World Travel and Tourism Summit—reiterating the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) continued commitment to facilitating legitimate trade and travel while enhancing security and keeping the American public safe.
"In today's world, the travel and tourism industry is a crucial part of our global economy," said Secretary Napolitano. "We are committed to working with our partners in the aviation, hotel and lodging industries to protect the traveling public and expedite legal travel and trade by prioritizing our resources on the people and goods that pose the highest risk."
Addressing more than 1,000 delegates of the travel and tourism industry from around the world, Secretary Napolitano underscored the importance of international collaboration to ensure the safety of commercial aviation and improve the travel experience for all passengers through trusted traveler initiatives such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Global Entry program.
DHS is currently piloting a number of programs to expedite and enhance the international traveling process, including "OneStop," which is designed to reduce wait times by designating primary inspection lanes for international travelers arriving without checked baggage, and "Express Connection," which designates customs lanes for travelers who have short time windows between connecting flights.
While in Las Vegas, Secretary Napolitano also held a roundtable discussion with leaders from the travel and tourism industry—including members of the World Travel and Tourism Council—to discuss the Department's role in facilitating legitimate trade and travel through partnerships with the private sector, as well as our continued collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other international partners to strengthen the global aviation system against evolving terrorist threats. Following an effort led by DHS that spanned five continents, 190 countries adopted a historic Declaration on Aviation Security in October 2010 at the ICAO Triennial Assembly, forging a new foundation for a global aviation security system with new standards for technology, information sharing, and cooperation.
Additionally, Secretary Napolitano spoke to approximately 300 small business owners in Las Vegas at the Department's Small Business Conference. The event, part of the White House Initiative on Small Business Contracting, highlights DHS' commitment to working with small businesses to increase their participation in the full range of DHS' missions and contracting and subcontracting opportunities. Last week, Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute met with small business owners in Miami.