Roger Dow: New security measures may make U.S. a less….
Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, issued the following statement on the Obama Administration’s announcement of significant new air security measures for international travelers to the United States:
“The Transportation Security Agency’s newly announced security policies for international travelers to the United States are appropriate steps within the resources available today to secure air travel to and within the United States.
“It is no secret, however, that today’s travel security screening processes – domestic and international – are not as efficient and effective as travelers and our country demand. Recent events highlight the need for a detailed review of our current security apparatus and a comprehensive analysis of the most effective systems, techniques and technologies to secure the travel process.
“Anything less than the world’s most secure and efficient travel process is unacceptable for our country and our nearly 60 million annual international visitors, more than 30 million of whom travel by air. International travelers spent more than $110 billion in 2008 and were responsible for nearly 1 million American jobs.
“A critical element of a secure and efficient travel process is communication with the traveling public and a global message that the United States welcomes visitors. The Travel Promotion Act, which passed both the House and Senate in 2009 but requires final passage, would enable our country to better communicate with travelers about security changes and ensure that this critical aspect of our economy thrives.
“We call on Congress to immediately send the Travel Promotion Act to President Obama’s desk and ensure that our increase in security is matched with an increase in our welcome. Unintentionally making the United States a less desirable place to visit for business, study or leisure will hinder our economic recovery and our public diplomacy efforts around the world.”