News / USA

Obama Seeks Bigger US Share of International Tourism

President Barack Obama speaks about tourism and travel, along Main Street USA at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida,  January 19, 2012.
President Barack Obama speaks about tourism and travel, along Main Street USA at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, January 19, 2012.
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama wants to make it easier for tourists from around the world to visit the United States. The president made the announcement on Thursday at one of America’s leading tourist destinations.

“I want America to be the top tourist destination in the world,” said President Obama.

He went to Florida’s Walt Disney World resort to announce a series of initiatives designed to make it easier for international visitors to enter the United States.

World travelers complain that with increased security after the 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington, entering the United States has become more difficult, unpleasant and time-consuming.

Many of those frustrated tourists stopped coming. White House officials say the U.S. share of the global travel market fell by more than 30 percent between 2000 and 2010.

To reverse that trend, the president is expanding the Global Entry Program, which he said protects America’s borders and makes life easier for frequent visitors who qualify.

“Instead of going through long lines at immigration, we can scan your passport [and] your fingerprints, and you are on your way,” said Obama.

Tourism is big business in the United States. The president said that in 2010, 60 million people visited America and spent $134 billion.  

Obama is calling on his secretaries of Commerce and Interior to develop a strategy to market U.S. tourist destinations overseas and increase those numbers.

“So that is what this is all about - telling the world that America is open for business, making it as safe and as simple as possible to visit, helping our businesses all across the country grow and create jobs,” said the president.

The administration estimates that 1.2 million U.S. jobs are generated by international tourism. Industry officials say increasing America’s share of the global tourism business could create another million jobs in 10 years.

Obama says much of that growth could come from just a few countries.

“Countries with rapidly growing economies, huge populations and emerging middle classes. Countries like China and India. And especially important here in Florida, Brazil,” he said.

The president has ordered the number of U.S. tourist visas processed in China and Brazil increased by 40 percent this year. And worldwide, he wants applicants for tourist visas interviewed sooner.

Obama’s appearance at Disney World promoted his main campaign message of creating middle-class jobs. Florida, the fourth most populous U.S. state, holds its Republican Party presidential primary on January 31. It is expected to be one of the main battleground states in the November general elections.


You May Like

Video British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Multimedia Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid