U.S. Travel Industry Concerned with Change in International Travel Policy
Poor Implementation of Program Could Fuel Negative Perceptions of Travel to the United States
"This type of change in policy needs a sufficiently funded, robust communications campaign. Moreover, the program lacks alternatives for travelers and travel agents without access to the Internet, or for individuals who have not filled out this authorization to travel in advance of their arrival at the airport.
"Two-thirds of overseas visitors to the United States came from countries being affected by the new ESTA rules. These international travelers spend on average $4,000 per person, per trip – generating billions of dollars in spending each year that feeds our economy and sustains millions of American jobs. According to new Department of Labor data, from September to December 2008, the United States lost 67,700 jobs in the airline and lodging industries – two top sectors of America's travel economy. At a time when our economy is struggling, we cannot afford to deter legitimate travel to our country by fueling negative perceptions that it is simply too complicated and difficult to travel to the United States for business or pleasure.
"U.S. Travel will continue to work closely with the Department of Homeland Security to address the needs of the traveler and travel community on programs like ESTA. We encourage the incoming Secretary of Homeland Security to strive for a better balance between enhanced security and facilitation of travel. The success of travel security policies depends upon solutions such as the 'Travel Promotion Act' – that invite foreign visitors to our country and place substantial resources behind informing them about new and changing security requirements."
The Travel Industry Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $740 billion travel industry. TIA's mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States. TIA is proud to be a partner in travel with American Express. For more information, visit .
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