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U.S. Says Restarting International Tourism Is A Top Priority

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As the US continues to reopen domestically, the government is showing more positive signs that international travel will soon restart as well.

Earlier this month, the US government announced plans to restart international tourism with several key markets, and today the US Secretary of Commerce said that international travel is a “top priority” of the government.

U.S. Says Restarting International Tourism Is A Top Priority

US Says Restarting International Travel Is A Top Priority

At a webinar hosted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association on Wednesday, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said that restarting business and international travel was a top priority of the federal government.

“I can promise that getting business travel and international travel going again is a top priority of the Biden administration and the federal government.” 

tourists San Francisco, California, USA

“We hear the message loudly and clearly, and all I can do is assure you we are on it.” said Raimondo.

She noted that she had recently spoken with panels of CEOs from the airline and cruise industries, who have been putting pressure on the government to restart international and business travel.

Even with domestic travel rebounding, US airlines had to cancel thousands of flights last weekend.

united airplane

There were no details or timeframes for the reopening of international travel, but earlier this month, the federal government announced that they are forming an expert working group who will make plans to resume travel with the UK, EU, Canada, and Mexico.

“I'm doing everything I can as an advocate to open key corridors for business travel internationally,” said Raimondo, noting the successful rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in the US and UK.

Passenger airplane taking of at sunrise

“I'm hopeful that post-Labor Day we will see a nice uptick in business travel and international travel”

While the EU has recently reopened to Americans regardless of vaccination status, the US continues to deny foreign nationals from the U.K. and Europe's Schengen Area.

750 Million Dollars Being Given In Aid To US Travel And Tourism Industries

sunset in Monument Valley, Arizona.

Raimondo also announced that the Commerce Department would soon deliver $750 million in aid to the U.S. travel and tourism industries.

The aid would be delivered to individual states, which could use the funding “very flexibly.”

“We're working feverishly to get this out the door quickly because we know time is of the essence,” she said. “Help is definitely is on the way.”

US and Individual States Launching Tourism Campaigns

Chris Thompson, CEO of Brand USA, said the organization is planning its first marketing campaign since the pandemic began, with the message that the US is ready for tourists to visit.

He said it is critical to get the land borders open with Mexico and Canada because 50% of the annual international visitors to the US are from those two countries.

canada usa border

The land border restrictions were just extended again until July 21st, but there is significant pressure to get it reopened from all sides.

Meanwhile, individual states have been launching their own tourism campaigns to attract both domestic and international visitors. 

New York, one of the most popular destinations in the US,  launched a $40 million global campaign geared at revitalizing the state's tourism industry.

Helicopter point of view of Manhattan island in New York City.

“We want the world to know that New York is back and better than ever, and this new global campaign will help to spark the revitalization of our tourism industry by reminding travelers that there is nowhere else in the world like New York State.” said New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

 The state recently reopened to tourism, along with California.


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