President Obama signs tourism memorandum before visiting Cooperstown
Thu, 22 May 2014 10:00:00 GMT —
President Obama will make history by late afternoon at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown as he visits the plaques that pay tribute to Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and other legends of the game. But, before Air Force One jets into Central New York the President will take several actions to help welcome more international travelers to the United States.
While still in Washington President Obama will sign a Presidential Memorandum to expedite the entry process for international travelers. That executive action will focus on the nation's 15 largest airports. The Secretary of Transportation will take the next four months to work with the airline industry to speed up the entry process for international travelers. The Obama Adminstration cites success with new systems and technology at Dallas Forth Worth and Chicaco O'Hare as examples of how international travel can be made more efficient and convenient.
Homeland Security is also expanding technology to streamline the entry process. One examples is the use of Automated Passport Control kiosks.
Also, multiple federal departments are working together to improve marketing of American travel to international tourists. The government will target ten international markets. The first pilot program will be in the United Kingdom.
There will also be an effort to attract more major global events to the United States. Creating a 'one-stop-shop' for all federal resources could make the competitive bid process easier. That would include expedited visa appointments for participants in large conferences or sporting events.
And, the nation's nonprofit travel promotion corporation Brand USA will also develop thematic tourism campaigns. There is already one underway that focuses on culinary tourism.
President Obama is also meeting with leaders of the travel and tourism industry at the White House Roosevelt Room to talk with them about their ideas to improve their power to attract visitors from overseas.
In 2012 the President set a goal of attracting 100 million international tourists by the year 2021. Last year the number had reached 70 million. The White House says it is on track to hit the target over the next eight years.
The Obama Administration is hoping this tourism address at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the day long focus on attracting international tourists will be the start of a new surge in travelers coming to the United States.