Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, issued the following statement upon today’s release of the federal government’s new National Travel and Tourism Strategy:
“The recovery of American travel jobs and visitor spending hinges upon the annual growth of international inbound travel. America must apply every possible resource at rebuilding it to full strength to benefit American workers and businesses in every pocket of the country.
“The new National Travel and Tourism Strategy comes at an important time when international travel spending in the U.S. was still 78% below 2019 levels in 2021.
“We commend the leadership of Commerce Secretary Raimondo and the Tourism Policy Council and applaud the ambitious goal of attracting 90 million visitor arrivals annually in the U.S. by 2027. The strategy sets out specific actions that the government can take to rebuild our travel economy and make it more globally competitive than it was before the pandemic.
“There is a lot of work ahead, but the administration must start by immediately repealing the pre-departure testing requirement for all vaccinated international air travelers and taking steps to drastically lower visa wait times.
“More than 40 nations have safely removed their pre-departure testing requirement and a recent survey found that 54% of international travelers were less likely to visit the U.S. with the requirement still in place. Average wait times for visa appointments have also soared to more than a year in some of our top source markets, which prevents millions of people from visiting.
“U.S. Travel will continue to work closely with our partners in the government to advance the strategic growth of inbound travel and to reduce the barriers to inbound travel that remain in place.”
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. Travelers in the United States are estimated to spend $1.1 trillion in 2022 (still 10% below 2019 levels). U.S. Travel advocates for policies to accelerate an even recovery across the travel industry and restore economic and job growth for this essential contributor to our nation’s success. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.