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National Restaurant Association - NRA encourages more aggressive tourism policies

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NRA encourages more aggressive tourism policies

The National Restaurant Association and other tourism leaders today asked the Commerce Department to take more aggressive steps to boost the U.S.'s share of the international tourism market.

“The travel sector, always opportunistic, has continued to generate new jobs even during these difficult economic times,” members of the Discover America Partnership said in comments to the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration. The National Restaurant Association is a member of the partnership.

If the United States doesn't get more aggressive in its outreach efforts, however, the nation risks a continued slide in its ability to attract international visitors just as world tourism ramps up, the partnership told the Commerce Department.

The World Travel and Tourism Council projects that worldwide travel will grow from 930 million visits to almost 1.3 billion by 2020.

The partnership called on U.S. government officials to set a goal of recapturing a 17 percent share of the global long-haul international travel market, up from 12 percent today. Sustaining the 17 percent share through 2020 would bring an extra 98 million travelers to the United States.

The partnership in its comments focused particularly on changes to the visa process, including making online consular services more user-friendly, implementing mobile interviews for visa applications, and opening additional visa offices in Brazil, China and India.

The Discover America Partnership is a coalition that includes corporations, labor unions, mayors, business organizations, tourism officials and other groups advocating for stronger U.S. tourism policies.

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