Southern Nevada is an ideal place for foreign travelers to experience everything our country offers, and we are working to reduce barriers so international travelers can visit more easily. I joined U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar on a recent trip to Nevada at a roundtable discussion with travel leaders to discuss additional ways our government can facilitate tourism. Increasing Nevada’s share of international travelers means more visitors to places like Boulder City, and more money and jobs for Southern Nevada’s economy.
In 2010, Southern Nevada welcomed 6.7 million foreign visitors. This group had a total economic impact of $10 billion and supported more than 96,000 jobs. Foreign tourists are, however, often challenged by delays in the visa process. President Obama and I both agree that streamlining the travel process to the United States will boost tourism for states like Nevada. At the President’s instruction, visa processing has been accelerated by 40 percent for many foreign travelers, and this will make travel to the United States significantly less complicated.
President Obama also expanded the Global Entry program to simplify the journey for frequent travelers to the United States. Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport is a crucial test market for the Global Entry program. When the new International Terminal opens in June it will play a major role in moving travelers through customs more efficiently. These comprehensive tourism measures will redefine the travel experience for international visitors, from the moment they inquire about a tourist visa at an American embassy, to the moment they land in Nevada.
The Hoover Dam is a historic engineering accomplishment and its easy to see why it has garnered international attention for decades. Foreign travelers want to experience Nevada’s world class landmarks, and I am confident that Boulder City will show them the best of what Nevada has to offer. Southern Nevada overall has now seen 23 straight months of visitation increases, and international travelers will help strengthen Boulder City’s economy. As the economic recovery in Southern Nevada continues, I will work in Washington to ensure that our state is well positioned to capitalize on foreign travel to the United States.
Contact Harry Reid at http://reid.senate.gov/