This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.
Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando | Department of Commerce
On Monday, Secretary Pritzker traveled to Orlando and spoke at the U.S. Travel Association’s annual IPW event. IPW is the world’s largest travel and tourism trade show dedicated to the sale of U.S. goods and services. During her remarks, she also issued the 2015 Spring Travel Forecast, which showcases America as a premier travel destination with continued international visitation growth through 2020.
The Administration recognizes the vital importance of the travel and tourism sector to the economic health of the United States. In 2014, nearly 75 million people from around the world visited the United States, spending about $221.6 billion, on hotels, cars, food, and entertainment, and supporting 1.1 million American jobs. With global competition to attract international visitors rising, the Department of Commerce and the Administration are focused on efforts to keep visitors coming back to the United States.
In 2012, President Obama launched the first-ever National Travel and Tourism Strategy, establishing the goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors to the United States and having them spend $250 billion in 2021. Through stronger public-private partnerships, the Administration has made progress on a number of efforts to improve the experience of traveling to the United States, including:
- Reducing visa wait times at our embassies and consulates around the world
- Expanding preclearance into nine new countries (including Belgium, Dominican Republic, Japan, Netherlands, the United Kingdom), which will allow passengers to have a better, faster, and more efficient experience entering the United States
- Instituting Trusted Traveler Programs like Global Entry, which expedites the entry of pre-approved, low-risk American citizens and lawful permanent residents into the country
- Expanding the Visa Waiver Program to 38 countries
- Creating Brand USA, a first-of-its-kind partnership that brings the public sector together with nearly 500 organizations to collaborate on consumer campaigns, to cooperate on marketing programs, and to facilitate travel and trade outreach
- Released a series of Airport Action Plans that will simplify and streamline entry for visitors at 17 of our top U.S. airports
America remains a premier travel destination for international visitors and the Administration is committed to working hard to maintain the best-in-class experiences for all guests coming to our nation’s shores.