President Obama Unveils New Pro-Tourism Initiatives

President Barack Obama announced a new strategy to encourage travel and tourism in the United States. The travel industry in the United States represents 1.8 trillion dollars in economic output, as well as 14 million American jobs (source: U.S. Travel Association). “The more folks who visit America, the more Americans we get back to work. It’s that simple,” Obama said.

Among Obama’s initiatives are rule changes for visa processing in China and Brazil, a final rule to expand and make the Global Entry program permanent, and the Nomination of Taiwan to the Visa Waiver Program. International travel is key to the U.S. economy, particularly when it comes to travelers from economies with emerging middle classes. The number of travelers coming from countries like China, Brazil, and India is projected to grow by 135%, 274% and 50% respectively by 2016 when compared to 2010.

This is especially good news for California, which has been one of the hardest hit states in the recent economic downturn. The travel industry in the golden state employs 815,000 people, making it a cornerstone of the state economy – and over 100,000 of these jobs are in Los Angeles.

UCLA Conference Services supports the U.S. Travel Association in its efforts to increase travel to and within the United States. As President Obama said, “America is open for business!”

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