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Study: improved tourist visa laws would add billions in revenue and thousands of jobs within five years

Passengers looking for their flights at Miami International Airport on Wednesday, November 26, 2014, a day before Thanksgiving.
Passengers looking for their flights at Miami International Airport on Wednesday, November 26, 2014, a day before Thanksgiving. el nuevo herald

Improved tourist visa laws would add more than $7.5 billion in U.S. revenue and create 50,000 U.S. jobs within five years, according to a report released Monday by The Partnership for a New American Economy.

The report, “Passport to Future Economic Growth: How Expanding the Visa Waiver Program Will Strengthen the U.S. Economy and Create American Tourism Jobs,” found that when a country joins the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, the United States sees a notable increase in the number of tourists from that country in the immediate years that follow. Over the course of its first five years in the program, the number of tourists arriving from a participating country rises by 16.4 percent.

According to the study, if six countries — Brazil, Hong Kong, Turkey, Israel, South Africa, and Poland — were to gain entry into the Visa Waiver Program in 2015, more than 600,000 additional travelers from those countries would visit America in the following year. And between 2015 and 2019, an estimated 1.7 million more residents of those countries would visit the United States than otherwise would have otherwise.

Furthermore, the study found that including the six countries in the Visa Waiver Program would result in $7.66 billion in additional tourist spending within a five-year period and create at least 50,000 American tourist jobs within that time frame.

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