The US Visitor’s Improved Immigration Processes is being talked about!

US Travel is the official trade organisation in the USA for Tourism and it is on a mission that should delight non US visitors to Orlando!

Tired of lengthy delays, the organisation has just launched an awareness campaign website that it will use to lobby congress to apply pressure for improved visitor immigration processes.  Traveller’s Voice sets out as a professional and non hostile website that offers a forum for travellers and travel industry representatives to voice their concerns about the lengthy process that currently is in place for travellers that wish to visit the USA for pleasure or business.

Pleasingly, the site does not level any criticism at the US Customs & Border Protection Service and openly recognised their efforts as the first line of defense of US borders.
The orgainistation does however make the point that although 66  million overseas visitors contribute $128.6 billion to the US economy, an incredible 2 out of every 5 overseas travellers steer clear of the USA purely because of the immigration process.

Here are some astonishing figures quoted from the website:

  • More than 2 in five overseas business travellers won’t visit the USA in the next five years, based solely on the entry process
  • 43% of overseas travellers say they will recommend to others to avoid a trip to the United States because of the entry process
  • Overseas Visitors tell and average of eight people about their travel experience
  • One in seven overseas travellers missed a connection because of long delays in customs, causing them to cancel hotel reservations, car rentals and other activities
  • 100 million overseas travellers are aware of the experience of others from the inefficient customs and entry process
  • 62% of overseas travellers report that getting rid of the lines at US Customs and lessening wait times as their top priority for making the US a more attractive destination
  • By deterring travel to the US and delaying visitors and customs, the economy risks losing $95 billion and 518,900 US jobs

USTravel_Infographic_1

Our view of the current Customs and Immigration Process

Border entry into the USA is without doubt, the worst part of the entire travelling experience.  Many of us shrug it off as a necessary process, however others, very aware of the lengthy wait in crowded lines may well find that the process is unrealistic.
Start thinking about people with injuries, disabilities, along with the elderly, or even families with several young children are all candidates to say ‘thanks but no thanks!’

It looks clear that the US Travel industry is as tired of the process as tourists are, but, the process generally works well in every other respect.
With national security a major importance any changes will likely be slowly brought in over many years.  Remember too, that some individuals and lobbyists are asking for TOUGHER immigration processes!

We could possibly see a slight but noticeable improvement over 2014 as immigration officer numbers are increased to cover more entry checkpoint desks in airports as a quick and ‘process change free’ step towards making things better!