US travel boosted by expedited visa process

AMERICA1The United States is experiencing a boom in tourism with several countries now being eligible for the visa waiver program.  In 2012 the Obama administration made a number of efforts to try and welcome more overseas visitors to the United States due to the fact that some foreign-born visitors were being forced to wait over four months for tourist US visas, according to Roll Call.

Professionals in the travel industry state that the amount of visitors to the United States from China is set to rise by 13% over the course of the coming year.  Last year approximately 1.5 million natives of China visited the United States, in part due to the streamlined US visas application process.  Efforts from the American Chinese Tourist Association have been focused on outbound travel from China for five years now – since 2008, when the governments of both countries agreed to allow leisure travelers to come to the United States on group tours.

“Visas are government tools to ensure safe and orderly international travel,” says the US Ambassador to China, Gary Locke.  “And what makes our work worthwhile is the deep and meaningful relationship between our two great peoples.  It brings American and Chinese culture together and builds bridges of understanding between us.”

The Waiver Program of the Department of Homeland Security enables citizens from 36 countries to visit the US without a visa for up to 36 days and also removes the requirement for travelers to have to go through the interview process.