A Big Day for U.S. Tourism

January 20, 2012

"The more folks who visit America, the more Americans we get back to work.”

 -- President Obama, January 19, 2012

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This year 1 billion people are expected to travel outside their own countries to see and experience the world.  And for every 35 of those international visitors, one job is created. 

That's why President Obama went to Disneyworld this week to talk about the importance of travel and tourism in creating American jobs.  He also knows that when someone from another country visits the United States, they generally go home a fan, and that's good for our world diplomacy. 

But since 9-11 our visa policies have unintentionally put up a big virtual wall around our country.  Last session in Congress, there were several bills dealing with the barriers to travel, all geared toward making the process smoother for international visitors to travel to the United States.  President Obama & Bill Marriott

Those Congressional efforts were led by Senators Klobuchar and Blunt, and they deserve a lot of credit for pointing out ways the government can do better to harness the economic opportunities that come with more travel.

President Obama, his Cabinet and Ambassadors like Gary Locke in China "get it," too. They want to compete for international visitors in the global marketplace.

So here's what President Obama has promised and we look forward to working with him to accomplish it:

  • For the first time, a President has set goals to increase VISA capacity and shorten wait times, and the State Department and Department of Homeland Security are charged with making it happen.  Way to go Mr. President!
  • He is focused on improving the process in high-demand countries like China and Brazil. There are millions of people in these countries with the economic resources to travel and we want to make the process better so they come to New York, Las Vegas, Disneyworld, or Miami Beach.
  • And the President promised to improve our entry experience through programs like Global Entry, to ensure a welcoming process once these travelers get here.

JW Marriott Marquis Miami

To coordinate this effort, he instructed the Departments of Commerce and Interior to work with the new “Brand USA” to create a strategy to promote travel to the United States.  Marriott has also committed three-million to the campaign.

We are proud to make that investment because Marriott, like the President, believes in this country and our terrific travel and tourism industry.  The more people that experience it, the better!

He also appointed new members to the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.  They will help ensure these great changes get executed and our very own Executive Vice President, Kathleen Matthews, is one of the new Board members.  Kathleen keeps me on track, so I know she'll do the same with the State Department!

I'm thrilled to see this great initiative take shape and applaud President Obama’s leadership.  Go Brand USA!

I'm Bill Marriott, and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move!

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thanks nice and awesome..........
Maybe the US is naive or arrogant enough to think people will just visit because we have great places to see.

Finally, the politicians cannot help but hear the wisdom that eminates from a real "business man" that clearly understands HOW to create jobs. Great Work!

I am very satisfied to listen to the relayed concept from Chief executive Government as a China person as well as a China tourist specialist on the eve of the China New Year! What he guaranteed to do is not only excellent for the Declares, but also for the community. The long run will confirm it.

I think that such decision will help to improve number of travelers to US which would be beneficial for its economy in the long run.

Great article in today's NY Times on George Aquino from the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids. Great brand image! http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/theres-nothing-general-about-these-managers/?scp=1&sq=George+Aquino&st=cse

I appreciate this decision by President Obama and hopeful that this step would e helpful for promoting tourism industry in USA. I am looking forward for such decisions in other paces of the world as well.

Hi Mr Marriott,

"He is focused on improving the process in high-demand countries like China and Brazil."

This is true! I´m brasilian. Me, my family and many friends are traveling to U.S.A frequently. At this moment, I´m looking for a hotel in Honolulu.
If you allow me an advice, I'd tell you to hire people who can speak Portuguese (Brasilian Portuguese).
For certainly the preference of tourists is the hotels where the attendants are prepared and know our language.

Tatyana Klein
Belo Horizonte - Brasil

As a student studying Hospitality Management I felt frustrated when hotel companies took a hit like the first post mentioned, and a little worried about my future in the industry. I am happy to hear the good news and look forward to helping these tourists enjoy their stays at Marriott hotels. (Insert shameless plug for job from Bill here)

Finally, the politicians cannot help but hear the wisdom that eminates from a real "business man" that clearly understands HOW to create jobs. Great Work!

This is really a great news and will increase the number of travelers to US for leisure and spend money specially the families. I remember as a call center manager for Marriott in Dubai before 9-11, so many customers with their family used to travel to US and spend 2 to 3 months in US during the summer here in Middle East then after that they stopped and shift to Asia, Europe and Middle East.

Getting entrance visa and the treatment at the airports it is very important to make more customers travel to US.

It's great move for the President to address the importance of tourism. A lot of people are going to benefit from this.

Great Job Mr. Marriott & Kudos to President Obama!

hi M.r marriott I hope they do right job.
ali abu shaweesh from joerdan

Mr. Marriott,

As someone whose job you helped create, I am proud to see you working with our President and for giving credit where it is due.

Go Brand USA indeed!

Hi Mr. Marriott,

I currently work with a few of your Marriott properties here in Atlanta. I agree that the US has great tourism and congratulations on the Marriott VP appointment to the board!
Our digital signage bar caddies in your hotel restaurants are able to promote your hotels, as well as all of the great local destinations a few minutes away, so we love tourism as much as you do.
Keep up the great work, and if you're in Atlanta visiting your properties be sure to check out our COMMcaddies.

Theodore T. Hall
COMMcaddy Network
Alpharetta, GA.

I have enjoyed the moments. They are providing the best in travels. Providing rental cars also.

Thanks for travelndeal. really enjoyed and cant forget those days.

Bill: This is really exciting stuff and I too am thrilled with the President's leadership (and astute mind) and getting a Marriott exec. on the Board.

I guess the only regret I would have would be that we aren't 40 years younger so that we could observe what will develop over the years until 2050.

Mr. MARRIOTT is one of the right persons to talk about how to create JOBS in USA, President Obama did a good move.

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I am very happy to hear the relayed message from President Obama as a Chinese citizen as well as a Chinese tourism researcher on the eve of the Chinese New Year! What he promised to do is not only good for the States, but also for the world. The future will prove it.
Thank you Bill, and best wishes for you in the forthcoming Year of Dragon!

I hope they do right job.
not fight as politic issue

I am glad to see this finally happened. Sadly, it took an election year to get some ideas rolling. While I applaud this initiative by the President, we must also remember that he was the one who told people not to travel to Las Vegas.

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