News for the Hospitality Executive
Travel Industry Hails Senate Effort to Improve
Visa Processing For Foreign Visitors
Goal to Increase Tourist Arrivals
from Key Emerging Travel Markets -
Brazil, China and India
Visa Interview Videoconference Pilot in Pending Senate Bill
Will Help United States to Welcome More Visitors, Create Travel Jobs
WASHINGTON, DC -July 29, 2010- The U.S. Travel Association today praised Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) for her tireless efforts and hailed the inclusion of a provision permitting the testing of secure visa videoconferencing for aspiring foreign visitors in the state and foreign operations appropriations bill.
"The deployment of videoconference capability for overseas travelers will go a long way in helping to achieve the President's ambitious goal of doubling exports under his National Export Initiative," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "Conducting tourist visa interviews via secure, remote videoconferencing technology is a practical solution to offset insufficient access to U.S. consulates. With the right mechanisms in place, our country stands to welcome millions of additional visitors each year, greatly benefitting both our economy and American jobs."
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) were also critical to passage of the provision.
The average overseas visitor to the United States spends more than $4,000 when they visit. With both videoconferencing technology and strategically assigned consular officers, the U.S. could more efficiently process visitors and advance the Administration's goal to double exports within five years. By doubling arrivals from just three key emerging travel markets - Brazil, China and India - the United States stands to gain $24 billion in direct export revenues that would support more than 200,000 jobs related to international travel and tourism, according to U.S. Travel Association projections.
In geographically large countries such as India, China and Brazil, a lack of access to U.S. consular offices has meant that entire tour groups or families must travel hundreds of miles to the nearest U.S. consulate just to apply for a visa. For example:
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $704 billion travel industry. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. For more information, visit www.ustravel.org.
|Also See:||U.S. Travel Industry Lauds Congress for Action That Improves Security and Sends Welcoming Message to International Visitors / December 2007|