Long delays and wait times for visitors at customs and entry points can discourage international travel to the U.S., which limits economic growth and job creation.

Quick Facts

The Obama Administration has demonstrated that it understands the broader value of attracting international travelers to our country and has taken significant steps to help make the arrival process secure and more efficient.  But more can be done to meet these objectives, which play a critical role in realizing the Administration’s goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors a year by 2021.


Increase efficiency at international airports

CBP should use automated scheduling technology, widely used in the private sector, and use part-time personnel to improve efficiency, reduce overtime and manage unexpected staffing shortfalls.

Improve metrics

Metrics should be established to process 80 percent of passengers within 30 minutes at primary inspection and all travelers within 45 minutes under normal circumstances. The adoption of specific standards would significantly enhance the entry experience and promote international visitation.

Expand the Global Entry program

Congress and the CBP should significantly expand the successful Global Entry program that expedites screening for pre-approved, low-risk international travelers. By removing known, low-risk travelers from the regular screening process, Global Entry enables CBP to focus resources on potentially riskier unknown travelers.

Quick Facts

  • 34

    overseas visitors to the U.S. needed to support one additional American job.
    1 out of 9 American jobs depend on travel and tourism.
  • $133


    added to the U.S. economy in 2015 thanks to inbound int'l travelers
     Making it America’s number one service export.
  • 68.3


    Number of "lost visitors" to the U.S. between 2000 and 2009
    The failure of the United States over the first decade of the new millennium to simply keep pace with the growth of international long-haul travel has resulted in the loss of 68.3 million potential visitors.

Research, News and Commentary on Customs and Entry Process

Visa Waiver Program Issue

U.S. Travel Association Statement on the Visa Waiver Program

January 31, 2017

U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Jonathan Grella released the following statement on the Visa Waiver Program.

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CBP officer

U.S. Travel Reacts to Border Security Executive Order

January 25, 2017

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on the Trump administration's executive order on border security.

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U.S. Travel Ready for 2017

January 06, 2017

The new year is a reminder that our work to demonstrate travel’s value is never done. With newly elected officials entering office nationwide, it's as important as ever to educate lawmakers on travel’s contributions to American jobs, our economy, communities and personal lives.

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Travel Leaders Decry Customs Breakdown

January 03, 2017

What happened at Customs airport checkpoints yesterday is disturbing, but unfortunately it is not surprising.

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Dow: Travel Industry ‘Will Be a Constructive Partner’ to Tillerson at State Dept.

December 13, 2016

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on news that President-elect Trump will nominate Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

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CBP Officer processes incoming passenger

Dow: Travel Community Looks Forward to Working with Kelly at DHS

December 12, 2016

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on news that President-elect Trump will nominate General John Kelly for Secretary of Homeland Security:...

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