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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid