29 January, 2010

Travel and tourism in the USA

Travel and tourism industry in the USA plays an important role in regulating its economy. As per Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “The travel and tourism is a $740 billion industry that employs 7.5 million people. One thing we can do to stimulate the economy is to promote the vital travel and tourism industry.” By saying this he means a better economy and more jobs in the USA in the current situation.

Keeping in mind the current economic meltdown, the U.S Department of commerce has pointed that the International tourists visit has dropped by 9% than the previous year. This is a major setback because most of the tourists spend an approximate of $ 4,500 on each visit. Other than this, Travel and tourism has had to face issues of food safety, health crises, natural disasters, and the rapid rise in petroleum prices resulting in major price increases for both land and air transportation. Therefore creating a rift in the past records and the current turnout of the tourists.

A lot of confusion and inconvenience is sometimes associated with traveling to the United States, especially regarding new and intrusive security requirements that create the perception that foreign visitors are not welcome. To counter this, Travel Promotion Act is being suggested to attract international visitors. This will communicate changes in the U.S Travel policies and promote US as a travel destination abroad. Infact the Department of Homeland Security has launched a pilot program to streamline the entry process. In this the paper I-94W form has been eliminated for those that have completed the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It is a smart use of technology to increase efficiency and reduce delays at ports of entry.

US celebrated World Tourism Day on September 29, 2009 giving the policy makers and leaders an insight into the benefits of tourism as a whole and the positive effects it has on the people and economy. Efforts are being made to bring attention to the importance of this industry among the masses. Modes of transportation are being developed in all directions and made accessible to all. Accommodations, flights, deals are being advertised to catch attention of the prospective travelers.

Modern tourism in the USA has faced a lot of hurdles but has flourished still. The terrorism attacks on September 11, 2001 forced the travel and tourism industry to face global security threats and this in turn made the industry do business in a lot different manner than before. But still the growth was far beyond expectation. The current economic meltdown is also trying to slow down the business a little but tourism industry is trying its best to look for the opportunities lying within these slow times.

Parimita Chakravorty

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