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White House Reports Progress Made on Inbound Tourism, but is it Enough?

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According to a federal report featured on Travel Market Report, the U.S. government is making “rapid strides” in boosting international travel to the nation, stemming from President Obama’s Executive Order earlier this year. The Executive Order Progress Report puts the increase in foreign tourist spending up nine percent since 2011.

Other key points from the article:

  • 88 percent  of global visa applicants are interviewed within three weeks of application.
  • A 40 percent increase in visa processing capacity has been achieved in Brazil, resulting in a 37 percent increase in visas since last year, and will be accomplished in China by end of year.
  • The Visa Waiver Program, which now allows visa-free travel from 36 countries, is being expanded.

The report also notes that the most popular U.S. destinations are Orlando, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, as well as national parks and monuments countrywide. Canada and Mexico remain the largest sources of international travelers.

Travel Market Report noted:

In addition to the Executive Order Progress Report, the White House announced a travel and tourism “Listening Tour.” Administration and Cabinet officials will travel to various cities across the country to discuss the importance of increasing travel and tourism with state and local officials, small business owners, and key stakeholder organizations.

This article comes at the same time that a private consulting company Future Brands claims the U.S. brand continues to slip in rankings, while Brand USA has announced positive preliminary results for the last 180 day period, claiming:

The metrics for the first phase of Brand USA’s campaign shows that these figures are likely to continue trending upward. Intent to visit has increased significantly in Brand USA’s consumer launch markets within just three months since the campaign launched in May: up 13 points in Canada, 17 points in the UK and 11 points in Japan.

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