We must not overlook the extraordinary benefits of expanding tourism and business travel to the United States. When this travel is unnecessarily impeded, when visitors get frustrated with long visa delays, and when they get hassled at an airport, America’s bottom line takes a beating. And don’t forget, when foreign visitors spend their money here, it’s counted as an export!
We need to broaden visa waiver programs, limit wait times at customs, and implement trusted traveler programs to reduce the hassles without jeopardizing safety. We need to let the world know we want their business, and that means we need to make travel promotion a priority.
The Chamber is:
- Encouraging Congress and the administration to expand the Visa Waiver Program and address delays, backlogs, and disruptions in our immigration and border management systems that impede the movement of legitimate businesses and tourists traveling across U.S. borders.
- Supporting “trusted traveler” programs to reduce airport screening delays and encourage and expedite travel for those who pass a rigorous background check.
- Ensuring the travel and tourism industry, largely populated by small businesses, is not subject to undue taxes and regulations.
- Urging lawmakers to adequately fund infrastructure to make travel to and within the United States more efficient, quicker, and more hassle-free.
America is leaving travel-related jobs and revenues on the table because we’re not laying out the welcome mat for business travelers and tourists. We need to ensure that when tourists are ready to travel and business people are ready to make deals, they come to the greatest travel destination of them all—the United States of America.