Travel Group Unites US Tourism Strategy
The United States doesn't attract nearly as many foreign travelers as it used to. And to try to address that, the U.S. government and travel industry have launched a new travel promotion corporation. The group says one of its first tasks will be convincing international travelers that the U.S. is looking forward to seeing them. Until now, each U.S. state has been responsible for attracting its own domestic and international tourists. The United States has never promoted itself to the world as a whole country. The U.S. never needed to until after the Sept. 11 attacks, says Geoff Freeman of the U.S. Travel Association. Then, he says, international neighbors started feeling like they weren't wanted.
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Trusted Traveler Program Gains Support
from Travel Agent Central
The U.S. Travel Association’s proposed trusted traveler program may be gathering momentum. The association applauded Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Alan Bersin for his public comments calling for increased participation in trusted traveler programs as a way to thwart terror threats. ASTA offered its support earlier last week. In comments to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bersin said that CBP wants to increase enrollment in trusted traveler programs to 3.5 million people in two to three years. Such an increase, said Bersin, would allow CBP inspectors "to spend time on those travelers about whom we do not have a level of confidence" and hasten movement through the line for other travelers.
U.S. Travel Association Turns up the Heat on Industry Advocacy
At IAEE's Expo! Expo! Event, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, gave a wide ranging press briefing just prior to his opening keynote. Dow outlined the association's advocacy efforts to address international visa issues, the travel promotion act and how the country needs to boost its reputation as a more accommodating host country. While most would view the travel industry's issues in a post-9/11 time-frame, Dow points to events in just the last couple years that have profoundly accelerated the problems.
Roger Dow Advocates For Collective Campaigning;
The Way to Turn the Industry Around is Together
Roger Dow is ready to raise the volume on the voice of the travel and meetings industries
– and armed with a vision of cooperative advocacy, he’s more than ready to hold the megaphone himself in an effort to rally others to his cause. “Really, the challenge is that when you step back, you realize this industry is seen as frivolous,” Dow said. “(Outsiders) don’t understand how commerce is done at tradeshows. We need media beyond the trades to understand this is the darling of the U.S. economy.”
TSA Chief: 'We'll Never Eliminate Risk'
from The Atlantic
Ever since new airport security procedures went into effect in late October, the Transportation Security Administration has been at the center of controversy. The combination of enhanced image screening with invasive patdowns for those who opt out has rankled civil liberties advocates and some of the flying public. John Pistole, the head of the TSA, is a 26-year veteran of the FBI an expert in counterterrorism and for six years the bureau's deputy director. As TSA administrator since July, he finds himself having to defend the new measures.
Once Again US Says the End of Visas for Brazilians is Near
In an interview with Brazil's leading weekly newsmagazine Veja, Thomas A. Shannon, the American ambassador in Brazil revealed that Washington is very interested in eliminating the need of visas for Brazilians traveling to the United States. Nowadays Brazilians are submitted to a serious check of their economic background in order to guarantee they won't try to stay illegally in the U.S. once their visa expires.
Obama Promises to Press Lawmakers to Include Poland in Visa-free Travel Program
from The Associated Press via the Winnipeg Free Press
President Barack Obama is assuring Poland that he will press lawmakers to include it in a program for visa-free U.S. travel. Obama said that he had told Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski in a White House meeting last week that he will make the issue a priority. He said that he hoped it could be solved in his presidency.
New Developments in Do-it-yourself Travel
It’s the end of an era, although there’s a good chance you won’t even notice its passing. By the end of this year, the traditional magnetic-stripe boarding pass will become a thing of the past, joining the likes of Airphones, armrest ashtrays and free meals in coach. The change, which is being overseen by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), spells the end of a system that was responsible for producing untold billions of specially designed boarding passes since it debuted in 1983. With 100-percent industry compliance expected by Jan. 1, IATA’s 230 member airlines will produce only the increasingly ubiquitous barcoded boarding passes.
Gaming Executives Foresee a Tough Year Ahead
from the Las Vegas Sun
Gaming industry leaders are confident visitors will return in greater numbers in 2011, benefitting hotels, restaurants and resort amenities, but they’re less confident about whether their casinos will see a similar increase. “I feel good about the pricing environment and rates in ’11,” said Jonathan Halkyard, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Caesars Entertainment. “But it won’t even be close to what we had in 2007.”