DC – The U.S.
Travel Association today applauded the competitiveness initiative
President Obama during his State of the Union Address and his specific
increasing exports. To achieve the President's goals, the travel
strongly urges the Administration and Congress to rapidly develop visa
entry policies that will attract more international visitors to
increase our positive trade balance and create hundreds of thousands of
"We are eager to work with our elected
leaders to capitalize on the more
than $4,000 spent by the average overseas visitor each time they come
United States," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel
Association. "Allowing extraordinary visa wait times and
our entry process to detour foreign visitors is akin to shredding a
multi-million dollar lottery ticket. Let's get to work on creating a
process that is the envy of the world and provides our fellow Americans
the jobs they desperately need."
An increase in overseas travel to the United States by an average of 15
each year between now and 2015 to meet the President's goal of doubling
would add $105 billion and 765,000 jobs to the U.S. economy, according
U.S. Travel analysis.
The United States has welcomed fewer overseas visitors in every year
the September 11, 2001 attacks than it did in 2000. Over that same
long-haul travel around the world has grown by 60 million travelers.
The President's National Export Initiative, which seeks to double
the next five years, should include increased travel as a core
achieving the President's goals. Lawrence Summers, former director of
Obama's National Economic Council, said at a President's Export Council
meeting: "My guess is the single largest lacuna on a 25-year basis in
U.S. effort around competitiveness is actually in the tourism area. I
just lag way behind."
Among the opportunities to help facilitate increased travel to the
States are: using secure videoconferencing to conduct visa interviews
prospective travelers in countries such as Brazil, China and India;
of the Visa Waiver Program; and expansion of the trusted traveler
as Global Entry.
Earlier this year U.S. Travel released a study conducted by Oxford
that showed the U.S. "lost" more than $500 billion in travel spending
from overseas visitors to America during the last decade alone by
keeping pace with the boom in international travel around the globe.
The U.S. Travel Association is the national,
non-profit organization representing all components of the $704 billion
industry. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the
States. For more information, visit www.ustravel.org.
Follow us on Twitter @ustravelpr.