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U.S. Travel Association commends visa progress in China
from Travel Agent Central
In moves that will increase travel to the U.S. from China, the U.S. Travel Association commended the announcement by Ambassador Gary Locke of increased visa processing, reduced wait times and a new pilot program that waives interviews for some nonimmigrant applicants in the People's Republic of China. "The State Department is to be commended for its response to the growing demand for U.S. visa applications in China," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. More
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Obama budget proposes new security, airline fees
from Reuters via The Morning Call
Airlines and their passengers would pay up to $32 billion in new air traffic and security fees during the next 10 years, and grants to big airports would fall sharply under White House budget proposals aimed at deficit reduction. More
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Message to Congress: Meetings are important
from Association Trends
The U.S. Travel Association plans to ramp up its campaign to ensure Congress knows how important meetings are to the economy. Through its Meetings and Incentive Travel Council, the association will target legislators in Washington, D.C., who represent the 12 states that have the top meeting markets. More
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US urged to speed visas for foreign shoppers
from Bloomberg Businessweek via San Francisco Chronicle
For the past decade, Michael Gould says he has watched with envy as a "stupefying" number of Chinese tourists lined up outside the doors of high-end boutiques in Paris, Rome and other European cities. "We find it frustrating to see business going elsewhere," says the chief executive officer of Bloomingdale's. More
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Balancing tourism and security
from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
There simply is no better advertisement for America and its best attributes — freedom, free enterprise, diversity and natural beauty — than having foreign visitors experience the country firsthand. From foreign heads of state to students to people on a-once-in-a-lifetime vacation, visiting America builds respect for its ideals and bolsters its economy. More
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Boost economy by welcoming tourists — and immigrants
from The Huffington Post
President Barack Obama's initiative to attract more tourists to the United States is a smart and practical policy that will create more jobs for Americans. More
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28 more airports will test lower-hassle screening
from The Associated Press via CBS News
A new passenger screening program to make check-in more convenient for certain travelers is being expanded to 28 additional U.S. airports, the government said. There will be no cost to eligible passengers, who no longer would have to remove their shoes and belts before they board flights. More
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Cruise industry announces change to safety drill policy
from USA Today
Every vacationer boarding a cruise ship will receive a safety briefing before the vessel sets sail under a new industry-wide policy. In a joint statement, the U.S.-based Cruise Lines International Association, Europe-based European Cruise Council and U.K.-based Passenger Shipping Association said the policy would apply across the board to their members, which include every major cruise line in the world. More
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Kirk's stroke removes key voice in visa waiver debate
from The Associated Press via The Republic
Weighed down by debt, Wanda Borowski left Poland 25 years ago to find work in the U.S., unaware it would mean two decades without seeing the son she left behind. Poland is among the few European Union countries left out of a U.S. waiver program that allows people to travel to the U.S. up to 90 days without a visa. More
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EU open to talks but won't scrap carbon tax
from The Associated Press via ABC News
Europe is willing to discuss its new carbon emissions tax for airlines with disgruntled governments but has no plans to scrap the levy, top EU officials said. Airlines and governments have complained the tax is too costly and was implemented without consultation. More
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