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TSA to test risk-based screening at 4 airports on passengers
who volunteer more information

from The Associated Press via The Washington Post
A select group of travelers soon might find it easier to get through security checkpoints at four major U.S. airports in return for voluntarily providing more personal information to the federal government as part of a new pilot program. The "PreCheck" program is the first big attempt by President Barack Obama's administration to move away from a one-size-fits-all security approach and toward a more risk-based, intelligence-driven model. More
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2011 Edition of The Cultural Traveler

Envoy: Visa waiver talks with US enter final stages
from The China Post
Taiwan's application to participate in the United States' visa waiver program is entering the final stages, said Leo Lee, Taiwan's deputy representative to the U.S. He predicted Taiwan will be listed as a candidate country by the end of this year, but he cautioned there is no set timetable on how long it could take for a country to obtain visa-free status. More
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Visa reform deserves welcome mat
from Los Angeles Business Journal
Tourism is big business. In fact, it is the largest industry in Los Angeles, employing approximately 400,000 people in Los Angeles County. If we want this number to grow here and throughout the United States, even creating more than 1 million jobs without spending any taxpayer money, then we really need to change the way we do business. And it all starts with increasing access to the number of overseas visitors. More
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Reform visa policy to open Orlando to more Brazilians
from Orlando Sentinel
It's no secret that Florida's economy is driven by tourism. But did you know Florida's fastest-growing group of international visitors — and its biggest spenders — are Brazilians? More
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To boost flagging economy, US wants to import more shoppers
from The Washington Post
The United States long has imported its food and fuel, its cars and clothes. Now the faltering economy has sparked a push for another type of import: shoppers. For the first time, lawmakers, businesses and even White House officials are courting consumers from cash-rich countries such as China, India and Brazil to fill U.S. shopping malls and pick up the slack for penny-pinching Americans. More
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Seoul, New York City form partnership to boost tourism
from The Associated Press via The Wall Street Journal
New York City's got Seoul. Seeing potential in attracting more travelers from Asia, the city's tourism agency has announced a partnership with the government of the South Korean capital to spark more cultural and recreational visits between the two metropolises. More
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Another look at Justice Department's $16 muffin
from The Washington Post
So, was it really a $16 muffin? The Justice Department's acting inspector general said it was a $16 muffin. Her office's 148-page audit report cites it nine times as an example of profligacy. And Post Justice Department reporter Jerry Markon said it was a $16 muffin in his Sept. 21 front-page story. More
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Hotel rates near pre-recession prices — and rising
from Los Angeles Times
Get ready for hotel rates to rise above pre-recession prices. In the first week of September, the average room rate in the U.S. rose to $107, just short of the high mark of $110 set in March 2008, according to the latest statistics from Smith Travel Research Global in Tennessee. More
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Business fliers start to return to premium classes
from USA Today
With corporate profits on the rebound, more travel managers are lifting restrictions and approving premium-class travel that was cut deeply after the 2008 financial collapse. More
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