A Warmer Welcome Means More Jobs

November 18, 2010

A Warmer Welcome Means More Jobs President Obama has just returned from Asia, where he had an extensive visit promoting U.S. exports.  But here at home we’re doing all we can to increase exports and create more jobs because each time a visitor from abroad buys a hotel room in the United States, that counts as an export.  We need more visitors to the United States from abroad and we can generate a lot more export dollars and more jobs.

I’ve talked about this before, particularly about the decline in overseas travel to the United States.  Since the year 2000, America has lost 440,000 jobs and more than $500 billion in total travel-related spending.  I continue to worry that our government isn’t doing enough to increase visitors to America from abroad.

Let’s look at Brazil.  Their outbound travel potential to the U.S. is truly outstanding because they are rapidly expanding their economy and growing their GDP.  But a Brazilian who wants to come to America has to have a visa, and wait times for Brazilians to schedule a visa interview go upwards of 90 days, which means we are losing many, many people who give up on the process!  By the way, Brazilians who want to visit Europe do not have to have a visa at all.

In the depth of the downturn in 2009, nearly 900,000 Brazilians came to the U.S., marking a 16% increase from 2008.  This supported over 41,000 jobs for our economy.  The U.S. Commerce Department is projecting over 1.2 million Brazilian arrivals to our country in 2010 and over 2.6 million visitors in 2015.  That’s a powerful growth rate, yet I’ve seen no significant plan to handle this incredible growth by making it easier to get a visa.  The story repeats itself for China, India, and many other crucial and growing markets around the world.

These visitors are too great an economic opportunity to pass up, so I’m requesting that the Administration, specifically the State Department and Department of Homeland Security, develop a comprehensive policy to facilitate travel to the United States.  Secretary Clinton needs to develop a long term strategy to increase facilities, staffing, and use of technology to meet the increased demand for visas.  Secretary Napolitano should also continue to think about how we’re going to improve our ports of entry, our staffing models, and the welcome visitors receive, so they can help make these new visitor projections a reality.

There is no greater deterrent to this incredible economic potential than a cumbersome and, for far too many, an unfriendly visa and entry process.  I’m committed to working with Congress to help get the funding for DHS and State, but they must do their part, too, by working with the hospitality industry.  We certainly must continue to work toward improved visa and entry processes, and it’s the U.S. government that really holds the keys to what we can achieve.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

A Warmer Welcome Means More Jobs

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Several typos in my entry need to be corrected

Mr Marrriott I own 5 weeks of Time Shares with with Marriott. Until reently I held your organization in high esteem byerecently my opinion has changed. This is becuase your staff have been giving out contradictory information to me. A recent example concerns membership in Interval International. Because of recent dealings with Marriott I now have three membership numbers in interval Internationl I was informed by some of your staff that membership can be merged and rightly so. Why on each should anyone have to pay annual dues to interval international more than once. Today I tried to get the representatative at the Marriott desk of Interval Internation to join my accounts, but to my surprise this person said that this could not be done. Obviously this person was either not famialar with the rules or rules had been designed to people off by making them pay annual does more than once. I plead you to get your staff to do what is ethically right and to stop giving people a run around on procedures that ruin the Marriott name

Speaking of Homeland Security, America must not let their guard down. There are people from all over the world who would do us harm from the extent of Oil Blackmail and even worse, eradication.

Also for Mexico PLZ!!!!

Dear Mister Marriott,

Being a Dutch national I do not need a Visa for the US, however my partner is a Chinese national. We tried twice to get a Visa for her, unfortunately refused twice. We had plane tickets from Amsterdam to San Francisco and from Los Angeles to Shanghsi. We live in the Netherlands and China. The reason given for the Visa refusal was that my partner has no ties to the Netherlands or China. This happened in 2009 and 2010. Because of this I stopped travelling to the US. Up till the Visa refusal of my partner I travelled an average of 5 times a year to the US and msde a point to stay at Marriott hotels.
We now travel in Europe and China


Chris Carli.

Mr. Marriott. I agree with you that we need to get more turists in the US. There are countries that make a lot of if not the most of thier GDP from foreign turists and it is a way of living in the future, I believe. I don't think we should go visaless though since it might start another wave of illigal immigrants but process should be a lot easier.
What I think can help greatly is a world wide advertising program with TV adds in countriys like China, Russia, India and Brasil advertising US as a beutifull, safe traveling destination. We have the best resorts, shopping, megapoises and so forth. From my communication with my freands in Russia, I know that people in other countries are not aware of Grand Canion, Niagara Falls, Hundred of miles of beaches, mountains on east and west coast.
We need to let people all over the world know that US is great place to visit!

I know that this doesn't have to do with this topic, but I would love to get your attention to one of your hotels, the
St. Louis Union Station Marriott
One St Louis Union Station
St. Louis, MO 63103

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the warm welcome and whole hearted hospitality that I received during my stay. I need to express my appreciation for the superior service I received during my stay at the St. Louis Union Station Marriott. I received the most friendly, courteous and helpful service from your Reception Staff. I served as an Ambassador from St. Louis area for the COGIC Convocation at your hotel. Without the help of your staff my job would have been difficult.

You are very fortunate to have staff of this caliber that has advanced the reputation of the hotel. Everyone made us feel that they were there to serve us and us alone; they made each person feel as though we were the only guest in the hotel, which was a great feeling. Each and every staff member took the time to help and answer our questions, no matter how big the line was behind us, they took genuine care and concern to create the best atmosphere possible. As much as your staff impressed us, and as much as the hotel was kept clean and in immaculate order; as much as the doorman and valet were great, nothing could compare to the feeling of climbing into that soft comfortable bed... which I called my little cloud to sleep on.

My original contact was Mr. Dan *******. He and his team worked with me and assisted me with whatever I felt I needed to prepare accommodations for my church family and visiting Convocation delegates as pleasant as possible. I have gained a deep respect for this management team. But, I must say the Director of Front Office Operations, Uday ****, is without doubt the hardest working person I have ever worked with. It is very rare to find such high standards of sincerity and trust-worthiness in the world of business today. Praises must be given to Uday, for he was enjoyable to work with. I hope you will recognize him for his positive attitude and the quality service he provides to all the guests at the hotel.

It is the small things as well as the larger details that he showed particular attention to that brought me to this conclusion. For instance, he greeted all that he saw as if he was just an ordinary worker. He helped with bags, valet, front desk, food, and so much more. He never gave the attitude that his title gave him status or that he was above helping to ensure that guest were given the royal treatment. His enthusiasm and the ability to motivate his employees have resulted in the superior service given by his staff. This is indicative of a well run hotel which I will recommend to all of my friends who wish to visit me here in St. Louis, Missouri and will make plans to make accommodations for Convocation 2011.

Is there any commen sense to benefit from tourism and maitaining security?
I think there is if the government think properly and act accordingly.

Gov doesn't create jobs, never has and never will. Gov should create an atmosphere for such policies that encourage free market.

Lower taxes will encourage businesses to stay instead of forcing them (through taxes) to leave.

This administration doesn't understand business and therefore the struggles we see are very basic.

I am traveling in Europe as I write this. No visa was required to get into the UK, Germany or The Netherlands. Airport security seems a notch or two better than in the U.S., but once through security, I can travel freely. If I had to obtain a Visa to visit the UK or Germany, it would make routine business travel less desirable.

The rising middle class of China will travel. This is a guarantee! Hundreds of millions of people for the first time now have disposable income and the chance to experience the world outside of their own country. It is a shame that these tourists will choose other destinations simply because we make it so difficult and unattractive for them to spend their money here! Mr. Marriott, you are a wise man. This world needs to lower our walls - not make them higher.

I have become aware of the full body scanners, and their radiation levels along with privacy issues.  I also understand that if I refuse to be scanned that I will be excessively "patted down", complete with genitalia groping. 

The fourth amendment of our Constitution states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I give no reasonable cause, and this IS an unreasonable search.  I refuse to allow myself to be subjected to this inhumanity.  Therefore, I find no other solution than to simply STAY HOME until these pat downs and scans stop.  Please support Ron Paul's solution, "American Traveler's Dignity Act."

Thank you for your time,

Bill, You are so correct! In some cases we make Friends and possible new Business Partners jump through hoops to get to the United States, while at the same time our southern Border with Mexico is very porous.

Bob Andrews

Hello everybody,
Thats For good use,,our improve our lives.

A room as an export I like that. I agree US needs to aggresively market visitors and not only to the obvious, albeit great, Orlando attractions. There is a lot more that can be marketed!!

Well said Bill! We will write to our NH Members of Congress and encourage them to act swiftly. Hope to see you next summer at Sawyers.

Kindest regards,

Speaking of Homeland Security, America must not let their guard down. There are people from all over the world who would do us harm from the extent of Oil Blackmail and even worse, eradication.

See our web site at www.dcasystems.com and you'll get the message.

Are those 2.5 million planning on staying or returning home??

Try and drive across the border to Mexico from Texas. Without a passport you are not getting back in.

Heck, have you tried getting on an airplane lately, one that you have flown since 1970? We cannot evan hardly motivate in our own country.

Mr. Marriott, You make a very good point about the US Visa problem. I hope you can influence a positive change. Many of my friends particularly from Asia and South America have experienced arrogant and insulting behavior of ICE and TSA staffs at ports of entry adding to Visa issuance issues. A number of these people would prefer to go elsewhere. Homeland Security and the State Department do not appear to be accountable to anyone. Security concerns are highly appropriate, however, it should not be a license for bad processes and behavior. Good luck with your effort. Syed T. A. Naqvi

Mr. Marriott:

Quite a challenge you have given! As an individual who has a great interest and love for the Hospitality Industry, I love your blog. It’s the best. Very passionate. I had to say wow !! Is Mr. Marriott addressing Congress in person. Well said! A perspective of an entrepreneur who sees way into the future.

I remember the appeal in your blog to President Obama to take the time, to have as a key player, an expert with a strong business background in his team. Basically your call today is for those skills to manifest.
Mr. Marriott, jobs are so important, I am puzzled why government don’t get it. When I provided administrative and marketing support services to the multibillion Dollar Revenue International Project: “The First Annual Africa Tourism Investment Summit (FAATIS)” the premise of that Project was Tourism was the fastest and most rapid avenue of generating jobs and economic growth for Africa. So I receive your comments with wide open arms.

Daily, I see men and women going through the street trash bins for food. Men begging for subsistence in one of America prized city where the basic revenue stream is tourism. Men and women sleeping in the street, as an alternative shelter.

Surely an aggressive and targeted “National Tourism Initiative” as you have well stated will alleviate these problems through the avenue of solutions being generated in jobs.

Quite a challenge, however a well needed and sound one to give. Someone has to speak and Mr. Marriott, since it you, well done. You do remember, I asked to you to speak to “the powers” and you sure have in a very strategic way. In a world of such great dynamism, I say thanks for your boldness and your “no-nonsense approach” as you keep Marriott on the Move.