Today, President Obama directed the State Department to accelerate our ability to process visas to ensure that 80 percent of international travelers who visit the United States don’t have to wait longer than 3 weeks for a visa interview.
Tourism is big business for our economy. Nearly 60 million international visitors came the United States in 2010. Tourists visited our cities, parks, and famous landmarks. They rented cars, stayed in our hotels, and ate in our restaurants. Together, these visitors helped the tourism industry generate over $134 billion dollars that year, so making sure that people can take a vacation here in the U.S. when they’re ready is important—the more people who visit America, the more Americans we can get back to work.
The President announced a whole host of initiatives today to increase travel and tourism in the United States, and directed his Administration to come up with a new national tourism strategy focused on creating jobs. Read more about the President’s plans for boosting tourism.