The U.S. Conference of Mayors
2007 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS
TOURISM, ARTS, PARKS ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS

INCREASING INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES THROUGH VISA REFORMS, ENTRY IMPROVEMENTS AND PROMOTION

WHEREAS, travel is one of America's leading exports, generating $107.8 billion in 2006, and

WHEREAS, travel and tourism creates one of the nation's only balance of trade surpluses ($7.2 billion in 2006), and

WHEREAS, international travelers are 74 percent more likely to have a favorable opinion of America and Americans after having visited, and

WHEREAS, international travelers are 61 percent more likely to have a favorable opinion of our nation's policies after having visited, and

WHEREAS, travel to the U.S. from overseas destinations has yet to rebound to pre-9/11 levels, and

WHEREAS, the world travel market is expanding, the U.S. share has declined 35 percent over the past 15 years,

WHEREAS, international travelers are increasingly deterred from traveling to the U.S. because of U.S. visa policy and entry procedures, and

WHEREAS, the United States spends virtually no money to communicate its improvements in travel-related policies and procedures or to promote the U.S. as a destination of choice abroad, and

WHEREAS, U.S. mayors, in conjunction with local destination marketing organizations, spend significant funds on promoting their cities domestically and overseas, and in turn see substantial returns on their investments, and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the Administration and the Congress, in concert with homeland security, to implement common-sense visa policy reforms, including the reduction of interview wait times, the use of advanced technology for visa interviews and the strengthening and expansion of the Visa Waiver Program, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the Administration and the Congress to improve America's welcome at U.S. ports-of-entry, including expansion of the model airports program, enhanced customer service training of Customs officials and implementation of an international registered traveler program, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the Administration and the Congress to initiate a coordinated communications and promotion campaign to help increase international travel to the United States.

2007 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352
info@usmayors.org