President Obama Takes Steps to Boost Foreign Travel and Tourism to U.S.

President Barack Obama has ordered actions that will increase the number of non-immigrant visas to the U.S. – especially for the nations of China and Brazil – and he is also calling for speedier approval of “low risk” visitor visas.

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Targeting Travelers in China, Brazil

As Bloomberg reports, these actions include increasing “non-immigrant processing capacity in China and Brazil by 40% this year and ensuring that 80% of those applicants are interviewed within three weeks.”

The president also wants ideas on how to best promote the U.S. to the world.

As of last year, about 7-and-a-half million people were employed in the travel and tourism industry in the United States, and 2010 saw nearly 60 million visitors from outside America’s borders.

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Top 10 Countries with Most Visitors to U.S

The top 10 nations providing the U.S. with the most visitors last year include border countries, plus several nations in Europe and Asia. The names of the countries are followed by the number of their citizens who visited the U.S. in 2010.

  1. Canada – 19.9 million
  2. Mexico – 13.4 million
  3. United Kingdom – 3.8 million
  4. Japan – 3.3 million
  5. Germany – 1.7 million
  6. France – 1.3 million
  7. Brazil – 1.2 million
  8. South Korea – 1.1 million
  9. Australia – 904,000
  10. Italy – 838,000

China was ranked number eleven, with nearly 802,000 visitors.

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Published: January 19, 2012