Government Acts to Reverse Decline in Overseas Travel to U.S.

Figures newly released from the U.S. Department of Commerce show that America continues to lose millions of overseas visitors at a cost of billions of dollars in revenue. The figures reveal that overseas travel to the U.S. remains below pre-9/11 levels in six of the top eight overseas markets. Travel to the U.S. in 2006 fell further in five out of the top eight overseas markets. A 2006 survey of overseas travelers conducted by the Discover America Partnership found negative perceptions of the U.S. entry process to be the greatest deterrent to visiting the country. While the overall number of international visitors to America finally returned to pre-9/11 levels in 2006, travelers from Canada and Mexico account for the increase. Overseas travel has declined by 17 percent since 2001. Congress is beginning to take action. On March 13th, the U.S. Senate passed positive reforms as part of legislation designed to strengthen the nation's security by implementing improvements consistent with the proposals outlined in the Discover America Partnership's Blueprint, demonstrating an increasing desire on Capitol Hill to reverse the decline.

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