US National Tourism Program First of It’s Kind
By Linda Ripoll
In the past, the US was a destination millions of foreign travelers flocked to. With tons of attractions and bustling cities, there are lots of reasons foreign travelers made the US one of the most visited countries in the entire world. In recent years, the percentage of foreign travel has dropped 37% since 2000. It comes as no surprise that the catalyst for the downtick in US tourism is due to 9/11. One of the main reasons for the downturn in foreign travelers is the length of time it takes to obtain a visitor’s visa. Also, the heightened airport security and other security measures deterred many of the world’s travelers from planning trips to the US.
Fortunately, the US Department of State has made the decision to change the way America is viewed around the world by promoting foreign travel through a series of special ads and commercials. Also, the Department of State is working to quicken the visitor’s visa process. There are even talks of placing several countries on the waiver list which would absolve them from needing visas to visit the US. In a recent article on CNN.com, the discussion surrounding a national tourism program even spurred President Obama to sign into effect the Travel Promotion Act:
“Last year, a bipartisan Congress passed the Travel Promotion Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010. At no cost to U.S. taxpayers, the act created the Corporation for Travel Promotion, a public-private partnership that will create and execute America's first nationally coordinated marketing program designed to attract more international visitors and provide them with the kind of helpful information they need and expect.”
With this boost in marketing the US to other countries as a top travel destination, we should see a marked increase in foreign travel and revenue.