Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (HI-02) released the following statement on the 180 day progress report of the Executive Order signed by President Obama in January 2012, which directs the federal government to improve visa and foreign visitor processing, promote travel to the U.S., and meet the goals laid out in the National Travel and Tourism Strategy:
"Tourism creates real American jobs, and today's progress shows Hawaii's son, President Obama, knows boosting our state's number one industry is a critical step for moving our economy forward," said Congresswoman Hirono, a member of the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus. "I don't think it is a coincidence that the travel and tourism industry is creating jobs 30 percent faster than other sectors or that Hawaii's visitor arrivals and spending have been very strong with several record-setting months this year. It's clear the Administration's efforts to more quickly and effectively process visas, expand the Global Entry program, and focus on improving information and customer service for foreign visitors are having a positive impact on international travel. This benefits Hawaii as well as communities all across our country by creating jobs that can't be outsourced and providing a needed boost to local economies.
"I will continue to support the Administration's efforts, but there is more that Congress could and should do. We could pass my bipartisan VISIT USA Act, which would help to give the Administration even more tools to continue the good work they are doing in a way that preserves U.S. security and doesn't add to our deficit."