U.S. tourism is all set to see happy days ahead with the federal government making it easier for international visitors to get through customs. Targeting mainly tourists from Brazil and China who are able and willing to spend, President Obama plans to speed up the non-immigrant visa approval process by making the Global Entry Program permanent. Obama is also looking to enhance the Visa Waiver Program which permits citizens from some countries to travel visa-free within the US for up to 90 days. All this is expected to reverse the trend of declining visitors since 9/11 and also give the US economy the much-needed shot-in-the-arm by providing more people with jobs.
The number of visas that will be issued to citizens of Brazil and China is expected to increase by 40% within the next year. While visitors from these countries usually had to wait many months to obtain a visa, the new rules will help them get it done in just three weeks. Low-risk travelers – those traveling for visa renewal or on a relatively young or old scale – will no longer have to go through the survey process.
Florida is already topping the list as the favorite destination for Brazilians. According to the state’s tourism officials, the proportion of tourists from Brazil in 2011 went up 41% from 2010 and outnumbered from all other countries. They head for the beaches, theme parks and malls, enjoying the weather which is similar to Brazil’s.
International travel is fun just as long as you take the right precautions. If you are planning a trip to the U.S., make sure you purchase international travel medical insurance. This will cover you if you happen to fall sick or have an accident at your destination. You can even extend your international travel insurance plan to cover trip cancellations, baggage loss and other unexpected events.