International Visitors Break US Tourism Record

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International Visitors Break US Tourism Record


Category: Airline / Travel

International visitors spent $180.7 billion on U.S. travel and tourism–related goods and services in 2013, an increase of more than 9 percent from the record set in 2012.

100 Million Visitors by 2021
The United States’ National Travel and Tourism Strategy, which President Obama launched in 2012, charted a new course toward making America a more attractive and accessible destination than ever before. The strategy sets a goal of drawing 100 million international visitors by 2021.

Shorter Visa Processing Times
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzke noted a presidential executive order that has led to new visa positions and expanded visa processing facilities around the world, with the result that 94 percent of nonimmigrant visa applicants worldwide are interviewed within three weeks.

More than 2 million people now have access to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler Programs — which provide expedited travel for pre-approved, low-risk travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks — up 60 percent from December 2012, she said. And more than 30 million visitors received Transportation Security Administration “PreCheck” expedited screening as of the end of 2013.

Working to Improve Entry Procedures
But Pritzker also acknowledged that the rise in international travelers has sometimes resulted in bottlenecks at borders, long wait times and customer service challenges at ports of entry.

The U.S. Travel and Tourism Board, she said, recommended that “we must make continued progress on travel facilitation, including sustaining the progress on visa issuance and continuing to improve the entry experience.”

To learn more about U.S. efforts to support the travel and tourism industry, as well as to view additional industry-related statistics, visit the travel and tourism page of the International Trade Administration.

Source: US Embassy Norway

Published: May 3, 2014