U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on the announcement by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Kevin McAleenan that the U.S. will enter negotiations to expand the U.S. customs preclearance program to nine additional countries (Belgium, Dominican Republic, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and United Kingdom):
“When the experience for the international traveler improves, the U.S. economy improves, and again this administration deserves praise for pressing ahead with innovative policies that simultaneously bolster national security and streamline the customs entry process.
“Customs preclearance is a program that has proven itself effective, and extending it to these key travel markets will undoubtedly boost visitation. As a bonus, adding preclearance facilities will further relieve pressure on the customs entry process here on our shores, improving the system generally.
“Evolving policies such as these are a big reason why we surpassed a record 74 million international visitors to the U.S. last year, and are well on pace to reach 100 million visitors annually by 2021. With overseas visitors spending an average of $4,300 per person, per trip, that’s just good economic sense.”