In testimony before Congress, U.S. Travel Association president and chief executive Roger Dow said that travel from the Asia-Pacific region to the United States was “critical” to the US economy.
Pleading for a Congressional focus on Asia-Pacific-sourced tourism, Mr Dow said that future government policy should center on ensuring growth from the region.
“Nearly a quarter of the increase in travel exports over the past two years has come from four countries in the Asia-Pacific region: Australia, China, Japan and South Korea,” he stated.
“Collectively, the spending by these four countries in 2011 supported 233,000 U.S. jobs, 14,200 more than were supported in 2010.”
With many long-haul passengers experiencing delays of up to three hours at some international terminals, the U.S. Travel boss placed a particular emphasis on the need for better passenger processing at American airports.
Among his recommendations for the improved facilitation of visitors was the establishment of a passenger wait time goal of 20 minutes per individual at international airports; a measurement of the customer service performance of CBP officers at airports; a fully implemented Global Entry trusted traveler agreement with South Korea within the next few months; and the expeditious negotiation of Global Entry agreements with Australia, Japan and Singapore.
"The United States must be able to process visitors securely and efficiently through its airports," Mr Dow remarked.
"Doing so will bring significant economic benefit to destinations throughout our country."According to the U.S. Travel Association, outbound travel from Australia, China, Japan and South Korea is expected to increase by 24 million over the next five years.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H