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"Look to Our Visitor Industry to Create Jobs' Urges Congresswoman Hirono

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

"Our national priority continues to be the creation of good jobs. For that, we should look to our country's visitor industry," urged Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) in testimony today before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.

The Congresswoman joined several organizations and agencies in emphasizing the importance of promoting America's travel and tourism industry, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, Brand USA, U.S. Travel Association, and Marriott International.

"Over 54 million Chinese traveled abroad in 2010 and less than a million came to the U.S. We're missing the boat on this growing China market," said Congresswoman Hirono. "We can make common-sense changes that expedite visa processing and increase visitors while preserving U.S. security through the VISIT USA Act. Boosting our travel and tourism industry will help our economy. And helping our economy shouldn't be a partisan issue."

The Visa Improvements to Stimulate International Tourism to the United States of America Act, or VISIT USA Act, would also establish 5-year multiple entry visas for Chinese visitors, extend the time Canadian retirees can stay in the U.S. and make other low-cost reforms that will increase tourism in the U.S.

To learn more about Congresswoman Hirono's VISIT USA Act, please click here.

The legislation introduced in the U.S. House by Congresswoman Hirono and Congressman David Dreier (R-Calif.) would cut red tape and reform U.S. visa policies--potentially bringing an estimated 300,000 visitors yearly mainly from China and other high-growth markets to Hawaii, boosting economic growth in the state.

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