Emerging tourism source countries eyed to boost U.S. economy
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado and Vail could be well-placed to take advantage of any boost in tourism that results from President Obama’s push to speed visa processing for foreign travelers, with Vail Resorts chairman and CEO Rob Katz being named to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, along with Holly Arnold Kinney, proprietor of the Fort Restaurant in Morrison.
The expanded board is part of an initiative announced Thursday by President Obama with the overall goal of making the U.S. the world’s top tourism and travel destination.
The president signed an an executive order that will expand the global entry program for pre-approved, low-risk travelers to new airports, including DIA, and increase non-immigrant visa processing by 40 percent in China and Brazil, two emerging economy countries seen as huge source markets for tourism.
“Every year, tens of millions of tourists from all over the world come and visit America. And the more folks who visit America, the more Americans we get back to work,” Obama said Thursday in a tourism speech at Disney World. “We need to help businesses all across the country grow and create jobs; compete and win. That’s how we’re going to rebuild an economy where hard work pays off, where responsibility is rewarded, and where anyone can make it if they try,” he added.
I think it is a very positive move, albeit several years over due,” said Colorado Tourism Office director Al White. “The work on speeding up visa applications will be huge … Also, the advisory board he (President Obama) is talking about has two Coloradans on it … That is a positive omen for Colorado. All things considered, I think it is a great move on the part of the President. Now they have to execute.” (more…)
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