The Partnership for a New American Economy’s new report, “Passport to Future Economic Growth: How Expanding the Visa Waiver Program Will Strengthen the U.S. Economy and Create American Tourism Jobs,” shows that smarter tourist visa laws would add more than $7.5 billion in U.S. revenue and 50,000 U.S. jobs within 5 years.
Key findings include:
- The Visa Waiver Program has a meaningful impact driving increases in U.S. tourist volumes. Our analysis found that when a typical country joins the Visa Waiver Program, it sees a notable increase in the number of tourists who chose to visit the U.S. 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.
- If a handful of trusted countries currently being evaluated for membership in the Visa Waiver Program were to gain entry in 2015, the impact on U.S. tourism volumes would be sizeable. If just 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 year that followed. Between 2015 and 2019, an estimated 1.7 million more residents of these areas would arrive in the U.S. as tourists than would have otherwise.
- Expanding the Visa Waiver Program would support our economy and create valuable jobs. Expanding the Visa Waiver Program to the six countries outlined above would result in $7.66 billion in additional tourist spending within a five-year period. It would also create at least 50,000 American tourism jobs within five years.