On February 13, 2015, the Departments of Homeland Security and Commerce released a report to President Obama titled “Supporting Travel and Tourism to Grow Our Economy and Create More Jobs: a National Goal on the International Arrivals Process and Airport-Specific Action Plans.” The report defines a national goal that was developed through extensive consultation with leaders from the airline industry, airport authorities, state and local governments as well as other industry leaders in the customer experience space.
The report says, “The United States will provide a best-in-class arrival experience, as compared to our global competitors, to an ever-increasing number of international visitors while maintaining the highest standards of national security.”
U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said, "The Obama administration has demonstrated time and again that it grasps the broader value of attracting international travelers to the U.S. During the average visit, these travelers expend huge amounts of foreign currency—meaning their spending counts as an export; they consume virtually no public services while they are here; and they support hundreds of thousands of unexportable jobs. Attracting more international visitors to our shores is one of the best ways to spur exactly the kind of economic activity this administration wants to prioritize.
“Today's joint announcement by Secretary Pritzker and Secretary Johnson is another step toward the president's thoroughly laudable goal of attracting 100 million visitors annually to the U.S. by 2021. If we continue smart policymaking, that mark is well within reach.
"We hope that the private sector's input on this initiative will translate to other concrete steps, such as a targeted reduction in the average per-passenger entry process wait time, throughput improvements and gathering data on customer satisfaction. But in the meantime, we congratulate President Obama and his team for finalizing action plans at 17 gateway airports, and for their unrelenting pursuit of improvements to this area that materially benefits U.S. economic productivity and job creation."