Study Shows Smarter Tourist Visa Laws Would Add More Than $7.5 Billion in Revenue and 50,000 Jobs within Five Years


Ryan Williams, New American Economy,

Tourism ad to air in airports, taxicabs, movie theaters, on Facebook and Twitter

Watch the ad here.

New York, NY — The New American Economy (NAE) today released a new study showing how expanding the Visa Waiver Program to six new countries – Brazil, Hong Kong, Israel, Poland, South Africa, and Turkey – would result in $7.66 billion in additional tourist spending and 50,000 American jobs within five years.

NAE also released a new ad in its series highlighting the need for immigration reform across broad sectors of the economy. This ad showcases the role of international tourists as significant revenue generators and American job creators.

“The competition for tourism dollars is stiff, and our current visa policies are putting us at a disadvantage,” said John Feinblatt, Chairman of New American Economy. “The Grand Canyon is a great destination, but so is the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben, so let’s not have long visa lines, fees and forms discourage visitors from coming here. It’s time we get smarter about our laws so we can grow our share of the global tourism market.”

The ad, which premiered today, will play in the following locations:

  • Washington D.C. taxis
  • Washington D.C. airports
  • Movie theatres in 8 key congressional districts
  • On Facebook and Twitter

Key findings from the study 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.

See the full study, “Passport to Future Economic Growth: How Expanding the Visa Waiver Program Will Strengthen the U.S. Economy and Create American Tourism Jobs.”


About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…