In a first for the U.S.—and as promised back in January— President Barack Obama announced on May 10 a national strategy on travel and tourism to boost travel in the United States.
“The steps the president took today are significant and will boost travel to and within the United States. Most importantly, they will lead to new American jobs and get our economy moving,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.
According to a White House statement, today’s announcement calls for a national strategy to make the United States the world’s top travel and tourism destination, as part of a comprehensive effort to spur job creation. Also, President Obama will sign an Executive Order and charge several government agencies to take part in efforts and new initiatives to significantly increase travel. Some of the initiatives include: a new pilot program and rule change for visa processing in China and Brazil, a final rule to expand and make the Global Entry program permanent, appoint new members to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, and the Nomination of Taiwan to the Visa Waiver Program.
Among U.S. Travel’s objectives for 2012 will be for the U.S. government to pursue concrete actions to increase international travel, business travel, participation in meetings and conventions and leisure travel throughout America. Policies U.S. Travel will champion include expansion of the Visa Waiver Program to Brazil, Argentina and Chile; further improvements to our entry process for international guests; streamlining the TSA experience for trusted travelers; and building an aviation system that encourages greater air travel.