The goal of the plan, called A Blueprint to Discover America, is to welcome more international visitors to the
“This isn’t a sweeping overhaul of our travel policies,” Rasulo said. “It is, rather, a set of common sense solutions to adapt to the way that people are traveling today. It’s using new technology and proven processes to make travel easier and more secure at the same time.”
Rasulo’s comments came at TIA’s 15th annual State of the Travel Industry Luncheon. The gathering is one of the largest travel and tourism industry events held in
The Blueprint to Discover America was unveiled earlier in the day by the Discover America Partnership (DAP), a coalition of some of
“Its fulfillment is the single most important action we can undertake as an industry.”
Among the major reasons why travelers are not coming to the
Rasulo noted that the program presents an attractive return on investment.
“We can implement the plan for about $300 million a year,” he said. “That’s a very low investment considering the high returns we’ll generate: billions of dollars added to the economy and tax revenues, and hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
“The return is so good,” he added, “that we can’t afford NOT to make the investment.”
Among the blueprint’s recommendations:
§ Overhauling the country’s visa system to improve security and process potential visitors more quickly. The plan calls for visa applications to be processed within 30 days and suggests methods to reduce the obstacles and barriers associated with the visa interview process, including videoconferencing and mobile consulate operations. The plan also calls for strengthening the Visa Waiver Program by expanding the security information required and the number of countries that can participate.
§ Modernizing and securing our ports of entry where visitors are welcomed. The plan calls for visitors to be processed within 30 minutes by hiring 250 new customs and immigrations officers. It also calls for turning the nation’s 12 busiest inbound airports into world models through enhanced line management, automated forms and traffic management processes, and an expanded use of technology.
§ Change perceptions of
The plan comes as Congress takes a growing interest in the
For full text of Jay’s remarks, please click here.