Obama woos Indian touristsJanuary 22nd, 2012 - 3:05 am ICT by IANS
Washington, Jan 21 (IANS) Wooing the increasingly affluent Indian tourists, President Barack Obama has issued an Executive Order to make it easier for travellers from emerging economies to get visas to visit the United States.
Aimed at boosting foreign tourism, the order came two days after he identified India, China, and Brazil among countries that could boost tourist traffic to America as he unveiled a strategy to ensure US remains the world’s top global travel destination.
“Let’s realise that in the years ahead, more and more tourists are going to come from countries, with rapidly growing economies, huge populations and emerging middle classes; countries like China, India and Brazil,” Obama said as he unveiled the strategy Thursday using the backdrop of Florida’s famed Disneyland.
Noting that applications for visas are skyrocketing, Obama directed agencies throughout the US Government to design a programme to make it easier for tourists to visit the United States.
The travel and tourism industry generated 7.5 million jobs and 2.7 per cent of US GDP in 2010, but post 9/11, US share of international traveller spending has fallen from 17 percent to 11 percent due to security concerns and increased competition.
Visitors from India, China and Brazil contributed approximately $15 billion to the US economy in 2010, with India sending a modest 651,000 visitors, a 140 percent increase from 2003, when the US received only 272,000 Indian visitors.
Still the US anticipates a 50 percent increase in the number of travellers from India by 2016, according to the International Trade Administration (ITA) section of the US department of commerce.
Indian tourists visiting America in 2010 spent an average of $4,390 each, toting up $2.86 billion for 651,000 visitors. In contrast, visitors from China and Brazil, projected to grow much more than tourists from India (by 135 percent and 274 percent, respectively), splurged $5000 and $6000, respectively, per visit.
For nearly one-third of Indian tourists, whose average age is 43 and average stay in America six weeks, the US was their first foreign travel.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)
- Obama woos Indian, Chinese tourists - Jan 22, 2012
- Reform visa process to attract Indian, Chinese tourists: US travel body - May 14, 2011
- New interview-less US visa process for some categories - Jun 29, 2012
- Streamlined visa process draws more tourists to US - Sep 20, 2012
- Number of US visa applications rise in China, Brazil - Jan 13, 2012
- US government taking steps to attract foreign visitors - Sep 20, 2012
- US to issue 14 percent more visas for Indians - Jan 27, 2012
- India needs to streamline visa, infrastructure to tap tourism potential: Experts - Feb 12, 2012
- Britain expects more tourists from India in 2011 - Mar 25, 2011
- US to intensify exports to India, China - Dec 16, 2011
- US hopes to draw 100 mn visitors annually by 2021 - May 11, 2012
- Goa tourism welcomes changes in visa norms - Jun 25, 2011
- Schengen visa processor VFS expands operations - Apr 18, 2012
- India, China boom pushing fuel prices: White House - Feb 25, 2012
- No TB test for visitor visa: Britain - May 23, 2012
Tags: backdrop, barack obama, department of commerce, disneyland, emerging economies, executive order, global travel, india china, indian tourists, indian visitors, international trade administration, international traveller, jan 21, security concerns, tourism industry, tourist traffic, travel and tourism, travel destination, us department of commerce, us gdp