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Streamlining Visa Applications and What That Might Mean for the Travel Industry & US Economy

In 2000, the top tourist destination in the world was Orlando, Florida, home of Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios, just to name a few attractions. But by 2010, Orlando was no longer number one, or even number five, or ten. Though it is still is one of the top destinations for Americans to visit, the number of foreign visitors has dropped significantly.
Orlando isn’t the only city¬†to have seen such a decline. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, and San Francisco have all seen their¬†inbound tourism drop off. But why? Well, part of the reason is because following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the USA made the process of getting a tourist visa much more difficult if the traveler wasn’t from one of the countries involved in the Visa Waiver program.
However, US President Barack Obama recently announced that he has ordered this process to be streamlined in an effort to make it less cumbersome, and therefore more appealing, for foreign tourists to visit the United States. It is estimated that by speeding up the process in countries like Brazil and China, inbound tourism will create up to one million new jobs over the next decade. Additionally it will increase tax revenues at all levels of government since inbound tourism generates more than $134 billion in revenue each year.
How will this happen? The first steps will include increasing the ability of embassies to process more applications in a shorter time frame. This will require additional investments in infrastructure as well as hiring more staff. Also Taiwan will be added to the list of countries in the Visa Waiver Program. Additional steps will also then be taken to make it less burdensome for applicants by eliminating many of the bureaucratic hurdles that currently slow the process down.
There are several additional articles that discuss this action and the impact it will have on both the travel industry and the US economy, but here are two I found informative via Airwise.com and DailyBreeze.com.

Categories
Travel News

Christopherson Wins Utah’s Best of State Travel Agency and Best of the Best for Tourism

On Saturday, June 4 at an awards gala in Salt Lake City, Utah, Christopherson Business Travel was awarded Best of State, Travel Agency for the second year in a row. This was a great achievement alone, but to add to the excitement, Christopherson was also awarded Best of the Best in the Tourism category; which is an outstanding recognition and extremely competitive to earn. A big round of applause for the support of our clients and all of the Christopherson team in accomplishing this level of recognition.

More details about the award and a list of the other finalists.