“The thousands of attendees we welcomed this week is indicative of the strong demand we are seeing for inbound travel to the US,” says U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman.
United States’ largest generator of inbound travel, US Travel’s IPW in San Antonio sets the stage for future inbound travel growth with as many as 5,000 attendees from more than 60 nations gathering in San Antonio, Texas, from May 20–24 for the 54th annual edition of the show.
In a press statement, the organisers of the show say that over the course of three days, 90,000 scheduled business meetings between domestic and international tour operators, buyers, and wholesalers are to take place at the Henry B González Convention Centre, bringing future travel and tourism business to the United States.
It goes on to say that there were close to 500 members of the domestic and international press in the show. Reporters covered the event itself, and also met with travel business and destination leaders at the media marketplace to generate reporting on travel to the US.
The statement adds that in his first press conference after taking over as the association’s leader in September 2022, Geoff Freeman, President & CEO, underlined US Travel’s initiatives to address barriers limiting the growth of foreign inbound travel while also identifying potential to improve the sector.
“As a country, we need to stay competitive; to see around the corners and anticipate challenges that weren’t on our radar five or 10 years ago. We need to be constantly evolving to meet new demands and to ensure our entry process is not only secure, but simple and welcoming,” says Freeman.
Freeman outlined four instances of how the US federal government may enhance and expand inbound travel, the first of which involved shortening the wait times for visitor visa interviews, which for first-time applicants in the top 10 visa-required markets worldwide average more than 500 days. Brazilian wait times are currently 527 days, Indian wait times are 406 days, and Mexican wait times are 647 days, adds the statement.
It says that addressing entry delays in the US Customs, Freeman says that international visitors at top US airports frequently experienced average wait times of more than an hour and that could improve. Further, enhancing the air travel experience through a 10-year strategic vision and increasing competitiveness in the global travel market were also aspects he focused on.