The State Department supports Brand USA, a public-private partnership with the mission of promoting increased international travel to the United States, and applauds the unveiling of its initial marketing campaign. We welcome its efforts as part of the President’s tourism initiative to support economic growth and job creation.
In 2011, international visitors contributed to the employment of more than one million American workers by spending $152 billion on U.S. travel- and tourism-related goods and services. Every additional 65 international visitors to the United States generate enough revenue to support an additional travel- and tourism-related job.
While the majority of visitors utilize the Visa Waiver Program to enter the United States, the State Department is committed to facilitating travel for the approximately 35 percent of international travelers who require visas.
We are meeting visa demand worldwide. Consular officers at our embassies and consulates are working tirelessly to protect our borders, keep visa wait times short, and streamline the process for visa applicants, particularly in fast-growing markets – like China, Brazil, and Mexico – that offer exceptional growth opportunities. In anticipation of the future growth in these new markets, we’re deploying additional staff, expanding existing operations, and opening new consulates.
We’re also looking at other ways we can work with Brand USA to promote economic growth and job creation. We will leverage our presence overseas and our public diplomacy to welcome more visitors to America’s great destinations. We will work closely with industry, Brand USA, and our colleagues across the U.S. government to send a positive message to foreign visitors that the United States is an attractive travel destination.
The State Department is committed to facilitating travel to the United States as part of broader “Jobs Diplomacy” goals. Visas for legitimate travelers are an important tool to help accelerate America’s economic revival.