Congress Acts to Welcome More International Travelers

The Discover America Partnership recognized lawmakers in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for approving reforms to America's travel process after the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. The organization believes these changes demonstrate an increasing desire on Capitol Hill to reverse the nearly 20 percent decline in overseas travel to the United States since September 11, 2001. Specific travel system reforms included in the conference report are: expanding the Visa Waiver Program to include a greater number of countries that meet stringent security criteria upon the implementation of a reliable "exit tracking" system at U.S. airports; establishing "model ports" at America's top 20 international arrival airports-including instructional videos, enhanced line management and assistance for foreign travelers upon arrival; and hiring at least 200 new U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to alleviate staffing shortages. The moves are part of H.R. 1, which is designed to strengthen the nation's security by implementing recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission. Visit [www.poweroftravel.org].

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