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New Study Cites Security Benefits of Increasing Overseas Visitors

June 15, 2007 By: Dan Butcher Travel Agent

Citing the results of a new economic study, former Pennsylvania Governor and secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, on Friday detailed how welcoming more overseas travelers to the United States could provide more resources for needed security enhancements. The study, "An Economic Analysis of New Visitor Entry Policies for the United States," was prepared with Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company, for the Discover America Partnership. The report, detailed by USA Today, discusses how a "modest" $10 visa waiver fee could reverse a steep decline in overseas travel to the United States by providing funding for security enhancements and a significant, nationally coordinated communications program to attract travelers to the United States. The report further shows that expanding the U.S. visa waiver program and launching new security and promotional efforts funded by a $10 visa waiver transaction fee would, within three years of implementation, increase overseas travel to the United States by nearly 1.6 million new visitors per year, generating $8 billion in new visitor spending and $850 million in new federal tax revenue; and generate an average of $200 million in fee revenue per year, including $100 million per year to fund improvements.

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