Barack Obama unveils new tourism policy

Barack Obama
Washington, Jan 19: In a bid to make US the world's top travel and tourism destination President Barack Obama on Friday announced a new visa policy for "low risk" applicants to attract visitors from emerging economies like India, China and Brazil.

Obama travelled to the world famous "Disney Land" tourist resort in Florida to announce his new policy which he said would help America retain the status of top tourist destinations of the world. "Let's realise that in the years ahead, more and more tourists are going to come from countries, with rapidly growing economies, huge populations and emerging middle classes; countries like China, India and Brazil," Obama said.

Obama's emphasis on these three countries is driven by the fact that tourists from India, China and Brazil contributed approximately USD 15 billion and thousands of jobs to the US economy in 2010.

Acknowledging that the current visa process makes it difficult for people from these countries to come to the United States, Obama said he has directed the State Department to accelerate America's ability to process visas by 40 per cent in China and in Brazil this year.

"We're not talking about five years from now or 10 years from now -- this year," he said amidst applause. White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters travelling with the President on his way to Florida, that through an executive order and some other initiatives, the President is calling for a national strategy to make United States world's top travel and tourism destination.

"The number of travellers from emerging economies-- and this is one of the targets of the President's initiative -- emerging economies with growing middle classes such as China, Brazil and India is projected to grow by 135 per cent, 274 per cent and 50 per cent respectively by 2016 compared to 2010. So there's an enormous opportunity there," Carney said.


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