I just had a chance to review the U.S. Travel Association’s policy position paper called Ready for Takeoff. It contains more than 30 recommendations for Congress and the Department of State that will increase international travel to the U.S. According to the report, if the government were to implement these proposals, the measures would help create 1.3 million new jobs by 2020. As the report states, “increasing travel to the United States is the most effective form of economic stimulus—supporting communities, injecting billions into the U.S. economy and creating millions of new American jobs.”
The U.S. Travel Association believes a comprehensive, four-step plan can help the United States achieve our goal of becoming more competitive in the global travel market, which in turn will expand exports, create new jobs and drive economic growth. They state “We believe security and efficiency are compatible. With better planning, budgeting and use of technology, our visa process can be secure, effective and competitive.”
Makes sense. As we ramp up new U.S. tourism marketing efforts, we have to be ready to welcome those visitors and make it easier for them to enter our country. Measures like streamlining visa applications, adding more countries to an existing visa waiver program and improving operations at government agencies while sustaining public safety will help grow our economy by attracting more international visitors. And guess what, if we don’t do it, those visitors will go elsewhere. I hope our elected officials pay attention to their recommendations.