U.S. airports pale in comparison to several of their international counterparts, and this has an adverse impact on tourism when foreign tourists begin to consider their destination options. With long customs lines and outdated technology, it’s easy to understand why a traveler might forgo a trip to the U.S. and save themselves the hassle.
The U.S. government has made strides in cutting visa wait times and is now working to make similar improvements in the arrival experience.
On May 22, President Obama issued a memorandum giving the Secretaries of Commerce and Homeland Security 120 days to develop a framework for improving the international entry experience.
Members of the travel industry and the general public have two more weeks to convey to he U.S. government their thoughts on how to improve airport entry processes for international travelers.
Interested stakeholders would be able to submit comments and ideas up until August 15, 2014.
The overall goal of the plan is to “expedite the arrivals process … [and to] enhance security by focusing officer time on the highest risk passengers and facilitating the process for the vast majority of legitimate travelers.”
The Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security are also seeking recommendations for airlines, airport operators, and the U.S. Customers and Border Protection employees, all with the goal of improving travelers’ perception and actual experiences when arriving in the United States.