U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today made the following statement on the newly-released report to the President that establishes a national travel and tourism goal.
The report, titled “Supporting Travel and Tourism to Grow Our Economy and Create More Jobs: a National Goal on the International Arrivals Process and Airport-Specific Action Plans” establishes the following goal: the United States will provide a best-in-class arrival experience, as compared to our global competitors, to an ever-increasing number of international visitors while maintaining the highest standards of national security. This goal was developed through extensive consultation with leaders from the airline, hospitality and travel industries, airport authorities, and state and local governments.
“The Obama Administration is focused on efforts to welcome more international visitors to the United States because we know that these travelers support American jobs,” said Secretary Pritzker. “Our efforts are paying off, and we are welcoming more travelers to the United States on a yearly basis than ever before. To build on that success, we are taking action to make the travel experience safe, efficient, and welcoming so that visitors return to the U.S. often and encourage their friends and families to visit, as well. By delivering a best-in-class arrivals experience, we can help ensure that international visitors continue to select the United States as their destination of choice.”
Over the last five years, more than 333 million international visitors have traveled to the United States. Growth in spending from these visitors during this period has supported roughly 280,000 new American jobs. Preliminary estimates show the U.S. welcomed a record 74 million international visitors in 2014 alone, and these travelers spent a record $222 billion on expenses including food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, and local transportation, supporting 1.1 million jobs.