Initiatives Underscore the Importance of International Travel to the US Economy and Highlight the Critical Need to Maintain DHS Funding
Last May, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum calling on the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security to establish a national goal and airport-specific action plans at our largest airports to enhance the arrivals process for international travelers to the United States. On Friday, DOC and DHS delivered on the next step in improving the traveler experience upon arrival into the United States.
The two agencies released a report to President Obama titled “Supporting Travel and Tourism to Grow Our Economy and Create More Jobs: a National Goal on the International Arrivals Process and Airport-Specific Action Plans.”
From the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Website:
The report defines a national goal that was developed through extensive consultation with leaders from the airline industry, airport authorities, state and local governments as well as other industry leaders in the customer experience space:
“The United States will provide a best-in-class arrival experience, as compared to our global competitors, to an ever-increasing number of international visitors while maintaining the highest standards of national security.”
Airport-specific Action Plans have been developed through close partnerships with airports, airlines and industry, and include significant steps to drive innovation to increase security while simplifying and streamlining the entry process at the top 17 airports.
GBTA released a statement in support of this plan and welcomes efforts by the DOC and DHS to improve the arrivals experience at airports for international visitors. Today, 15 percent of international visitors come to the U.S. on business trips, and as the U.S. economy grows this number will increase. Shorter lines, more efficient processes and better service all send a clear message: the U.S. is open for business.
Today’s report underscores that fact that failing to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security could have serious, unintended consequences for business travel, an industry that is expected to account for $310.2 billion in spending during 2015.
GBTA calls on Congress to work together to fund DHS, which supports the movement of people, goods and services throughout our transportation system.