Earlier this year, President Obama issued an Executive Order on travel and tourism directing federal agencies to expand the nation’s ability to attract and welcome international visitors, while maintaining the highest standards of security. Today the White House issued a progress report from the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security outlining the steps taken to meet the President’s objectives in three key areas: 1) Increase visa processing capacity by 40 percent in China and Brazil; 2) Ensure that 80 percent of visitor visa applicants are interviewed within 3 weeks; and 3) Increase efforts to expand the Visa Waiver Program; and expand expedited travel programs, such as Global Entry. The report measures the progress achieved thus far and discusses efforts to improve the entry process at U.S. airports.
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. Additional details about the travel and tourism “Listening Tour” will be released as they become available.