The Visit US Coalition has shown its support to the JOLT Act, the bipartisan legislation that suggests the renaming of the US Visa Waiver Program to the Secure Travel Partnership. According to a press release of the coalition, the change would better reflect the program’s security standards and traveler benefits.
Andrea Riccio spokesperson for the Visit US Coalition, which is a broad cross-section of industries that have come together to address the decrease of foreign travelers to the US, estimates that rebranding the program also more accurately depicts the program’s secure relationships between the US and partner countries.
“Americans want to welcome international travelers and show them what makes this country great. The Secure Travel Partnership will continue to allow vetted, secure travelers to visit the U.S., bringing benefits to all sectors of our economy,” he says.
According to him, welcoming international travelers to American shores has undeniable benefits. Boosting the economy with spending at hotels, restaurants and retail stores and only some of them
“The JOLT Act will ensure that the US can realize the economic benefits of international travel,” he claims.
Whereas, a press release by the coalition calculates the spending of international travelers in the US and how the country benefits by permitting foreign travelers to enter visa-free.
“Each overseas traveler spends approximately $4,200 when they visit the U.S., directly supporting 1.2 million jobs and $33.7 billion in wages. By inviting international travelers to the U.S. through improved processes, we will give a jolt to American businesses,” the press release says.
The JOLT Act is a bipartisan attempt to increase national security, reform the old US visa laws as well as to bolster international tourism to the US, thus making it possible to create new jobs. It was reintroduced in July last year, US Congress representatives, Michael Quigley and Tom Rice.
The US Travel Association has also been pushing for the expansion of the program with nine other countries, including Poland, Argentina, Israel, and Brazil.
The Visa Waiver Program currently permits the nationals of 38 countries to enter the US without a visa for business and tourism purposes. All countries under the VWP are obliged to grant the US with reciprocity of visa-free travel for its citizens.
It is estimated that around 22 million people traveled to the US through the Visa Waiver Program only in 2016, which generated more than $90 million for the US economy.