President Obama said, “I want America to be the top tourist destination in the world. That’s why earlier this year we joined with business leaders to find better ways to market our tourist destinations and to make sure foreign visitors get the information they need.”
The President has requested Secretary of Commerce, John Bryson and Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar to make the process of visiting the U.S. as smooth as possible for all international travelers. The President’s executive order is designed to make it easier for people from around the world to visit the thousands of premier tourist destinations across the United States, from the Grand Canyon to the lights of Las Vegas, from the Statue of Liberty to the beaches of California.
At the President’s direction, the Administration is increasing its capacity to accept and process international visitors. For example, the Department of State is meeting the growing demand for tourist visas in places like Brazil and China by increasing staff and expanding hours. The Department of Homeland Security is expanding programs like Global Entry, which expedites clearance for preapproved, low-risk travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks.
President Obama said, “we’re speeding up visa processing in countries like China and Brazil, so more people can come spend their money here.”
Just last month, the Department of Commerce released data revealing that international and domestic tourism spending increased 8.1 percent in 2011, supporting an additional 103,000 jobs for a total of 7.6 million. In addition, nearly 62 million international visitors contributed more than $153 billion into the U.S. economy.
President Obama thanked Pow Wow delegates for promoting travel to the United States.
“I want to thank all of you for doing everything you’re doing to bring people to America,” he said. “I promise to do my part by making it safer and simpler for people to visit, and together we can tell the world that America is open for business.”
Written By : Matt Thomas